On Monday, President Trump signed a proclamation announcing that he will honor police officers today in recognition of "Peace Officers Memorial Day" by lighting the White House blue. Trump's symbolic act of solidarity with police stands in contrast to President Obama's handling of a request by a law enforcement advocacy group to light the White House blue following the murder of five police officers in Dallas in July 2016.

Trump's proclamation (full text below) explains the origins of "Peace Officers Memorial Day," May 15 of every year, and "Police Week," a week set aside to "honor the men and women of law enforcement who have been killed or disabled in the course of serving our communities."  

"Police officers are the thin blue line whose sacrifices protect and serve us every day, and we pledge to support them as they risk their lives to safeguard ours," said the president.

In the statement, the president underscored the threat law enforcement face in the line of duty, noting officers saw a 40 percent increase in "malicious attacks" last year:

Last year, 118 officers died in the line of duty, and of those, 66 were victims of malicious attacks.  These attacks increased by nearly 40 percent from 2015.  This must end.  That is why one of my first actions was to direct the Department of Justice to develop a strategy to better prevent and prosecute crimes of violence against our Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.

After pledging to work to improve the lives of our police officers, Trump officially proclaimed this week "Police Week" and announced that he and the First Lady will be lighting the White House Blue Monday night. He also called on government officials and American citizens to fly the American flag at half-staff to honor fallen and disabled officers: 

In humble appreciation of our hard-working law enforcement officers, Melania and I will light the White House in blue on May 15.  I call upon all Americans to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  I also call on the Governors of the States and Territories and officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day.  I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day.

 

FLASHBACK: In July 2016, following the murder of five police officers in Dallas by an anti-cop black nationalist who was "upset about Black Lives Matter," then-President Barack Obama ignored a request by a police advocacy group to "demonstrate his full respect for their ultimate sacrifice by illuminating the White House in blue," a response that resulted in widespread backlash among police advocates. 

Though Obama had chosen to light the White House for other occasions, including the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling nullifying state laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman and Breast Cancer Awareness week, Obama would not symbolically stand with law enforcement in the midst of the wave of attacks on officers and in the wake of the horrific Dallas massacre. Here's what The Daily Wire reported back in July 2016:

The day after the murder of five police officers in Dallas, a police advocacy group requested that President Obama "demonstrate his full respect for their ultimate sacrifice by illuminating the White House in blue." While the president did order flags to be flown half-mast to honor the fallen officers, unlike it did to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month or celebrate same-sex marriage, the White House stayed white

"While we appreciate the President's proclamation to have our flag flown at half-mast in honor of our fallen Dallas police heroes, I respectfully request that he demonstrate his full respect for their ultimate sacrifice by illuminating the White House in blue,"  Jon Adler, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation president, said in a statement Friday. "Actions speak louder than scripted words, and the honorable act of displaying law enforcement's 'Thin Blue Line' at the White House would demonstrate the President's sincere commitment to our fallen heroes and their families."

Adler's request appears to have been ignored, the White House remaining its iconic color all weekend. 

When White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was twice asked about the idea of honoring police at a press conference that week, he blew off the request of the officers' association both times. 

"I don’t have much to say about the potential consideration. I can tell you that’s not something that we plan to do at this point," said Earnest. "The President certainly has, in a variety of ways, acknowledged the tragedy and honored the life of the five Dallas police officers who were killed last week. The President, while he was overseas, ordered flags across the country lowered to half-staff as the nation mourns the loss of those police officers. And, of course, the President traveled to Dallas just yesterday to speak at the memorial service that was organized to honor their service and honor their sacrifice."

Below is the full text of Trump's Peace Officers Memorial Day proclamation:

During Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, we honor the men and women of law enforcement who have been killed or disabled in the course of serving our communities.  Police officers are the thin blue line whose sacrifices protect and serve us every day, and we pledge to support them as they risk their lives to safeguard ours.

Last year, 118 officers died in the line of duty, and of those, 66 were victims of malicious attacks.  These attacks increased by nearly 40 percent from 2015.  This must end.  That is why one of my first actions was to direct the Department of Justice to develop a strategy to better prevent and prosecute crimes of violence against our Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.

In addition, my Administration will continue to further the efforts of the Department of Justice to improve the lives of law enforcement officers and their families.  This includes supporting the Officer Safety and Wellness Group, which improves officer safety on the job, and accelerating the processing of benefits through the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program, which provides vital resources to the families of fallen officers.

Our liberties depend on the rule of law, and that means supporting the incredible men and women of law enforcement.  By a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended (76 Stat. 676), and by Public Law 103-322, as amended (36 U.S.C. 136 and 137), the President has been authorized and requested to designate May 15 of each year as "Peace Officers Memorial Day" and the week in which it falls as "Police Week."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2017, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 14 through May 20, 2017, as Police Week.  In humble appreciation of our hard-working law enforcement officers, Melania and I will light the White House in blue on May 15.  I call upon all Americans to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  I also call on the Governors of the States and Territories and officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day.  I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.