Members of the New England Police Benevolent Association held a closed-door meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to cast their votes, and noted that his bigoted comments about banning Muslim immigrants did come up, but was outweighed by the fact that he has spoken in support of police so often.
‘‘Listen, our message very clear: It’s what is the next president of the United States going to do to unite this country in an effort to save police officers? Because it’s open season on police officers,’’ Jerry Flynn, the NEPBA’s executive director told the press, despite the fact that police killings are down from previous years.
On Thursday, Trump told the press that he had explained to the union’s executive board that he would execute cop killers prior to their endorsement.
‘‘I said that one of the first things I'd do in terms of executive order if I win will be sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that anybody killing policemen, police woman, police officer, anybody killing a police officer, death penalty is going to happen, OK.”
Trump also spoke out in favor of militarized police, a topic of heated debate ever since the entire world watched the weapons of war being used against protesters on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of Michael Brown.
‘‘You know they’re taking away the military equipment,’’ said Trump.
‘‘Every time I see a conflict, I see a van pull up, I see an armor-plated Humvee pull up. I see almost a tank in some cases pull up. We've got to let our police have the finest equipment and the finest training and if we don't,’’ he said, ‘‘we’re making a tremendous mistake as a country.’’
Approximately 150 people had gathered to protest outside the meeting.