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Former President Donald J. Trump attended the wake of a New York City police officer killed in the line of duty, emphasizing the need for the country to focus on law and order. Despite facing multiple criminal cases, Trump met with the family of Officer Jonathan Diller and privately spoke with his widow and young son. The former president called for a crackdown on violent crime without specifying policies, reflecting his tough-on-crime stance ahead of the upcoming trial in Manhattan.

As Trump continues to court police officers and position himself as a law and order candidate, his campaign contrasts his visit with President Biden’s campaign fundraising event with former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Trump’s campaign spokesperson highlighted this contrast, while the Biden campaign criticized Trump’s record on safety and law enforcement, citing increases in violence during his presidency and proposed cuts to law enforcement budgets.

Throughout his political career, Trump has portrayed himself as a strong supporter of law enforcement and has made unwavering support for police officers a central tenet of his presidential bids. Despite facing criminal charges, he has highlighted his alignment with rank-and-file officers and routinely criticized liberal prosecutors and Democratic mayors for their handling of crime. These attacks have resonated politically, particularly on Long Island, where they helped Republicans make gains in the 2022 midterms.

While Trump has not elaborated on specific policy proposals to prevent tragedies like Officer Diller’s death, he has rejected calls for police reform and advocated for giving officers greater freedom to combat crime. He has also expressed support for indemnifying police officers from financial consequences in lawsuits alleging misconduct. Additionally, Trump has shown support for individuals imprisoned in connection with the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack, despite some of his supporters being convicted of attacking law enforcement officers during the incident.

The incident that led to Officer Diller’s death, involving a suspect with a lengthy criminal history, sparked anger among onlookers who attributed the increase in crime to progressive policies. Despite data showing a decline in crime nationwide, discussions around the case often center on law and order issues. Trump’s stance on crime has been a consistent theme in his political messaging, and he continues to align himself with police officers while criticizing perceived failures in addressing violence by Democratic officials.

As Trump’s trial in April looms, his visit to Officer Diller’s wake showcases the balancing act of his campaign, where he remains vocal on law and order issues despite his legal troubles. His focus on supporting police officers and advocating for tougher crime measures contrasts with his opponents’ policies on criminal justice and safety. The visit also underscores Trump’s ongoing efforts to maintain his tough-on-crime image and rally support among law enforcement personnel and their families.

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