President Trump called on police to push back against “Radical Left politicians” amid a wave of anti-police sentiment among local leaders in some of the largest cities in the United States.
Trump accused local Democratic politicians of treating police officers “so badly” and “disrespectfully” on Monday morning. Local police budgets have been in the crosshairs of city officials in recent weeks as anti-police activists have gained momentum on a wave of racial justice protests.
“Never in history have Police been treated so badly as they are in Democrat run cities — and these cities are a mess. Police must take a stronger stand with the Radical Left politicians that are treating them so badly, and so disrespectfully!!!” Trump tweeted.
Never in history have Police been treated so badly as they are in Democrat run cities – and these cities are a mess. Police must take a stronger stand with the Radical Left politicians that are treating them so badly, and so disrespectfully!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2020
City officials in places such as Minneapolis, New York City, and Los Angeles have taken steps to cut funding to or abolish their respective police forces after outcry over the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in police custody on Memorial Day after a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Cell phone video captured Chauvin’s treatment of Floyd and sparked massive protests across much of the United States and spread internationally. In many places in the U.S., the protests devolved into violent riots that ravaged local communities and businesses as looters, arsonists, and assailants terrorized residents.
Last week, Trump denied a request from Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Tim Walz for $500 million in federal aid to rebuild communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul that were destroyed by rioters. Much of the damage to Minneapolis, the epicenter of national unrest, occurred after Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey ordered police to abandon a precinct that was subsequently razed by rioters.
The Minneapolis City Council has voted to allow for the defunding of its police department and replace it with a “community-led public safety system.” Democratic mayors in cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle are backing substantial budget cuts to their respective police departments to funnel more money into social programs targeting minority communities.
Washington state schools have begun severing ties with local police departments that have stationed school resource officers on the campuses for security. The school board president of the Edmonds school district, Deborah Kilgore, said last month that “police are a real risk to many of our students and they contribute to stress and bad health for hundreds of children.”
The actions taken against police in the wake of Floyd’s death along with rhetoric from local officials has contributed to plummeting morale among police officers, who are retiring from departments in major cities in increasing numbers. Between June 29 and July 8, New York City police officers retired at a rate 411% higher than the same time period last year. So many officers are filing for retirement that the department has placed a limit on daily applicants to keep from overloading processing.
In Atlanta, Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms admitted on June 17 that police morale in her city is “down ten-fold” after Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard charged an Atlanta officer with murder in the killing of Rayshard Brooks. The officer shot Brooks after he stole a taser and fired it at the officer. Several days after the incident, Bottoms said Brooks’ death was “murder.”