In a letter to the AFL-CIO, the president of the International Union of Police Associations, Sam Cabral, wrote that the union “absolutely” supports Trump’s plan to “protect the people of this country that includes the deployment of Federal Law Enforcement Officers to those cities and states, some of whom … have abdicated their primary responsibility to protect their citizens.”
He was further quoted in a news release on Friday, “I wish the best for those unfortunate souls that live under such mob rule, but until and unless it comes to their neighborhood, this reality is simply an academic exercise for the politically ineffective officials living far removed from these ‘sanctioned protesters’ who are actively engaged in rioting, looting, and unabated lawlessness.”
Cabral took to task the mayors of Atlanta, Chicago, Portland and Seattle for the way they handled the anti-police protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Trump signaled his intention to deploy federal agents earlier this week in an announcement at the White House, making “law and order” a pillar of his reelection campaign. It follows weeks of protests in major cities across the country, a number of which have devolved into violence, arson, looting, and the vandalism of public property while activists publicly called for dismantling their respective police departments.
At the same time, shootings have spiked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and other major cities in recent weeks.
Trump’s plan to send officers drew rebuke from high-ranking Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who last week alleged the administration was sending in “unidentified stormtroopers” in “unmarked cars” to Portland to kidnap protesters.
In the protests, Portland demonstrators frequently surrounded the federal Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse. Authorities said individuals tried to set the building on fire and smashed its windows.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan, in defense of his agency’s presence and tactics in Portland, told reporters this week that it’s standard practice.