Trump gave a speech today in Long Island to address the threat of the MS-13 gang, but the New York Police department was not among the officers at the speech. “We have a lot to do, a lot of work to do in New York City,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill on Friday.
NYPD jurisdiction doesn’t include all of Long Island, so it isn’t clear if they would have been expected to attend to begin with. However, New York is a sanctuary city, and Trump’s speech promised harder measures on immigration and further arming immigration enforcement.
Trump held his speech at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, not only where the county police are centered, but close to where MS-13 killed four men in April. Since 2016, the gang has been linked to 17 murders on Long Island. Trump’s speech was meant to give support to local law enforcement while appealing to legislators to change the laws to promote ICE and anti-immigration efforts.
The NYPD doesn’t have the best relationship with Trump, but since his election, they have grown only more frustrated. While Melania stayed in Trump Tower while Trump was in the White House, the police budget was stretched thin, and their resources overextended.
They also might not be on board with Trump’s harsh rhetoric. According to members of MS-13, the harsher Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants gets, the stronger their gang becomes.
New York’s police are some of the most respected in the country, and their message was clear. Their citizens are more important than stroking the president’s ego.