President Trump on Monday renewed his call for those who kill police officers to get the death penalty, during a speech to law enforcement officers in Florida.
"Reducing crime begins with respecting law enforcement," Trump said. “We believe that criminals who kill our police officers should immediately, with trial, but rapidly as possible, not 15 years later, 20 years later—get the death penalty."
The president has issued that call before and even vowed during the campaign to pursue a related executive order, which he has yet to do. But the comments come toward the end of what has been an especially deadly year for law enforcement. Already, 43 officers have been fatally shot, nearing the 2017 total of 45 gunfire-related deaths.
Trump spoke at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Convention in Orlando, where he also discussed the Chicago crime crisis and said he's sending Attorney General Jeff Sessions “immediately” to address the “shooting wave” in the city.
“The crime spree [in Chicago] is a terrible blight on that city, and we’ll do everything possible to get it done,” Trump said. “Law enforcement people in Chicago … they would solve the problem if they were simply allowed to do their job and do their job properly.”
Trump said that the administration would start working with Chicago “today.”
“We strongly oppose efforts from politicians who try to shackle local law enforcement. Let’s see whether Chicago accepts help. They need it,” he said. “We’ll straighten it out fast. They want to straighten it out. … Sometimes I think maybe it is possible that they don’t.”
Last month, Sessions gave a speech outside Chicago to police officers, likewise complaining that politicians are "forcing their police departments to restrict proactive community policing."
According to the Chicago Tribune, 2,346 people have been shot in the city this year – still lower than in 2017.
Trump also announced that last week, the administration provided “historic levels of funding” to improve school safety, noting that schools and police departments would be able to “train more teachers” and hire more officers “to better detect early warning signs of mental illness before it’s too late.”
“Heavy funding, but you’ve made a lot of strides,” Trump said. “We’re just helping as much as we can the extraordinary men and women helping in our communities.”
The president, meanwhile, used part of his speech to rail against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's rocky confirmation process, slamming what he called “false charges” and “false accusations” leveled against him. Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault and misconduct by at least three women. The FBI found no evidence to corroborate the claims, however, and Kavanaugh adamantly denied them. Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate on Saturday by a 50-48 vote.
“Horrible statements that were totally untrue,” Trump said Monday. “Brought about by people who are evil.”
Earlier in the day, Trump called the allegations a "hoax." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reacted by calling that "another phase in the denial that the Republican leadership in Washington has."
Fox News’ Jennifer Bowman and Lee Ross contributed to this report.