“We have to get much tougher,” on crime President Trump said during an exclusive interview on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday reacting to the shooting of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies over the weekend.
“We’re getting weak and soft with a lot of the Democrat-run cities,” Trump continued.
Trump made the comments responding to a question from host Ainsley Earhardt on the growing anti-police sentiment across the country: “What do we do” to “fix this problem?”
Following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis police custody in May, there has been a growing push to defund or dismantle police departments across the country. Floyd’s death sparked protests, which often turn violent at night and target members of law enforcement.
On Saturday night, two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies were shot in their patrol car by a suspect who “opened fire without warning or provocation” and now a manhunt is underway, authorities said.
Following the shooting, protesters were blocking the entrance to the hospital emergency room where the two deputies were undergoing surgery and yelled, “We hope they die,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The deputies, a 24-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, were both in critical condition as they underwent surgery following the attack, which occurred outside a Metro rail station in Compton, according to the sheriff’s department.
Both deputies were shot in the head, the Los Angeles Times reported, adding that following surgery they are now listed in stable condition and expected to survive. The two were sworn in just over a year ago and the female deputy is the mother of a 6-year-old boy, officials said in a news conference.
On Tuesday, Trump said that Democrats’ “policies are horrible.”
“They’ve taken respect away from police officers, they’ve degraded them, they’ve fired them,” Trump continued.
He noted that “crime is through the roof” in cities like New York.
Commissioner Dermot Shea, the NYPD’s top cop, said 160 gun arrests were made between Aug. 31 and the end of that week.
“We hit a 25-year high in gun arrests last week, the most gun arrests we’ve made in a week in 25 years,” he told 1010 WINS.
Shea noted that 436 gun arrests were made in a 28-day period ending Sept. 6, a sharp uptick from the 320 recorded in the same time period last year, according to the New York Post. He attributed some the increase in gun crimes to bail reform and court closures.
Trump pointed out on Tuesday that several police unions, including the NYPD union, recently endorsed his reelection amid budget cuts and tensions between police and city lawmakers.
The NYPD union faced blowback from local Democrats after the endorsement.
Last month, Trump spoke to members of the New York City Police Benevolent Association (PBA), an organization that represents 24,000 officers, at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
Trump, who has been amplifying his law-and-order message in response to the unrest that’s rocked many of the nation’s cities since the death of Floyd, was formally endorsed by the group. PBA President Pat Lynch said it was the first time he could recall the group ever endorsing a president.
“It’s not easy for them to do because of the leadership in the cities, but they endorsed me,” Trump said on Tuesday.
“I can’t imagine anybody endorsing [Joe] Biden with his views,” Trump added. “I mean his views are death.”
Fox News’ Louis Casiano, Brie Stimson, Morgan Phillips and the Associated Press contributed to this report.