Trump to attend wake for slain New York policeman

By Nathan Layne and Tim Reid

(Reuters) – Former U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to attend the wake on Thursday for a New York Police Department officer who was gunned down during a traffic stop earlier this week in a killing that drew national attention.

Trump, the 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has made support for law enforcement a focal point of his campaign to defeat Democratic President Joe Biden in November’s election, set to be a close, deeply divisive contest.

“President Trump is moved by the invitation to join NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller’s family and colleagues as they deal with his senseless and tragic death,” Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said in a statement.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment and confirmation of Trump’s attendance at the wake, due to be held in Massapequa on Long Island, east of New York City.

Diller, a three-year veteran of the force, was fatally shot below his bullet-resistant vest during a traffic stop on Monday in the New York borough of Queens. Two suspects have been taken into custody, according to media reports.

During his campaign rallies, Trump often seeks to portray crime as out of control in the U.S. and to pin the blame for that on Biden, even as data shows violent crime in the nation is at one of the lowest rates in decades.

Trump, who is facing four criminal trials as he seeks the presidency, peppers his campaign speeches with promises to restore “law and order” and to bolster protections for officers facing litigation for their conduct on the job.

At the same time, he frequently attacks New York state Attorney General Letitia James for bringing a civil fraud case against him, Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, for prosecuting him over alleged hush money payments to a porn star, and other prosecutors for cases against him.

Trump posted a tribute to Diller, 31, on his Truth Social platform on Tuesday.

“To Officer Diller’s family, and all of the other brave men and women of law enforcement who put your lives on the line every day, we love you, we appreciate you, and we will always stand with you!” Trump said in the post.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut and Tim Reid in Washington; Editing by Colleen Jenkins)






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