Trump, in Chicago, Vows to Stand with the ‘Incredible Men and Women in Blue’

Yet the police chief of this troubled city was too politically selfish to show up for an address by the president of the United States — the commander-in-chief let him have it

Image Credit: Courtesy, The White House

There’s not only a great political divide in America — but a great divide between rank-and-file law enforcement officers and their leaders.

There are, of course, great police chiefs and sheriffs who still adhere to the rule of law and revere the Constitution. However, especially in leftist-run locales, the gap between cops and command is wide.

This divide was shown starkly on Monday when Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson snubbed President Donald Trump by not attending the major speech Trump was giving in Chicago at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference. To make matters worse, Johnson as superintendent was obligated to host the conference.

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It seems Johnson was too politically selfish, in my view, to respect his own office and that of the highest office in the land. Instead, he was absent from the president’s address. Johnson cited his opposition to the administration’s immigration policies as his reason for playing hooky.

Well, boo hoo for Eddie Johnson. He has a president he doesn’t agree with in the White House. Who hasn’t been there in the past couple decades?

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I suffered through one I didn’t agree with for eight years — and still I did my duty as a Seattle police officer. During that time, I had a governor I didn’t care for as well.

Elections have consequences, don’t they? You don’t always get what you want.

My sergeant once assigned me to aid state troopers with protecting then-Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire at an event in Seattle. I disagreed not only with her politics but also with the dubious way she won office. Regardless, she was declared elected and I do my job.

When I met her, I politely shook her hand, introduced myself, and said I’d been assigned to assist with her security. I showed respect for the highest office in the state — and, therefore, for my office, too.

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Johnson’s snub disappointed Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham, as a Fox News report indicated — and he expressed similar sentiments. “He is the president of the United States. And, the reality of this is there are plenty of times I’ve sat listening to speeches that I didn’t care for, and I certainly didn’t walk out on them.”

Graham also noted his and the city’s appreciation for the support they’ve been receiving from the Trump administration. He particularly appreciated the “ATF [Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] agents and federal prosecutors that prosecute our gun laws because our local prosecutor hasn’t done the job.” Let that soak in a moment. Have you heard the media report on that point at all?

But Superintendent Johnson, the event’s host, could not be bothered to show up for the speech. Not one to allow a slight of this kind to go unnoticed, Trump let the superintendent of one of America’s most violent cities have it — for all of America to hear.

After recognizing the family members of officers in the audience, Trump said, “But there is one person that’s not here today. We’re in Chicago.”

The crowd chuckled at the irony, knowing exactly to whom the president was referring.

“I said, ‘Where is he? I want to talk to him,’” Trump began. “In fact, more than anyone else, this person should be here because maybe he could learn something.” More cheers from the delighted crowd. “And that’s the Superintendent of Chicago Police Eddie Johnson.”

Trump quoted Johnson’s stated reason for not attending: “The values of the people of Chicago are more important than anything President Trump would have to say.”

This is the epitome of leftist virtue-signaling, which has gotten so boring. Anyway, who is he to assume the mantle of grand arbiter of Chicagoans’ values? President Trump called it a “very insulting statement” after all he’s done for the police.

“Here’s a man who could not bother to show up for a meeting of police chiefs … in his hometown and with the president of the United States. And you know why? It’s because he’s not doing his job.”

Trump said, “Since Johnson has been police chief, 1,500 people have been murdered in Chicago and 13,067 people have been shot.” Let that sink in, too.

The president told the audience that Chicago was the worst sanctuary city in America. He referred to the 1,623 ICE detainers denied by Cook County last year, and said, “And Eddie Johnson wants to talk about values.”

Under Trump, the feds are prosecuting gun crimes in Chicago because the city/county won’t, all while their police superintendent throws a hissy fit because the president doesn’t approve of the city’s coddling of illegal alien criminals.

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Trump believes the superintendent puts his personal values ahead of the people of Chicago, and the president believes Johnson’s values are a disgrace.

President Trump spoke about awarding the Medal of Valor to the six police officers who stopped the terrorist shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

He called out King County Washington for releasing an MS-13 gang member into the community because of sanctuary policy. He said, “This man went on to murder a 16-year-old boy, with a baseball bat.”

“Not one more American life should be stolen from us because a politician puts criminal aliens before American citizens,” said the president.

And he also mentioned California Police Officer Ronal Singh, shot and killed the day after Christmas last year by an illegal immigrant.

Trump said, “Not one more American life should be stolen from us because a politician puts criminal aliens before American citizens.”

The crowd, again, applauded appreciatively. “My administration will always protect those who protect us.”

The president concluded by saying, “To all of the terrific law enforcement officers here today, thank you for your unwavering courage and your unbreakable devotion.”

“Today and every day I vow to stand proudly, loyally, and faithfully with the incredible men and women in blue.”

I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hear these words from the president of the United States.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of LifeZette.

meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer and on the East Precinct Community Police Team. He's the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State." He's also a contributor to the National Police Association.

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