On Monday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told Ohio police that, if elected, he would give them military weapons. He also told black and Latino voters that since they live in “war zones” they could only be safe by voting for him.
Trump met with the Akron chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, a union that has not yet endorsed a presidential candidate. He reportedly vowed to be “a cheerleader” for police if elected president, and said he would supply them with military weapons currently unavailable to them.
After protests surrounding police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, last year, President Barack Obama banned battlefield equipment, including grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and tracked armored vehicles. Trump said it was “ridiculous” that police didn’t have access to combat resources.
Addressing non-white voters at a small rally hours later, the controversial billionaire said, “You could go to war zones in countries that we’re fighting and it’s safer than living in some of our inner cities that are run by the Democrats,” repeating an appeal he made to black voters last week, “What do you have to lose?”
Trump made promises, including, “I’ll straighten it out.” He also declared, “I’ll bring jobs back, We’ll bring spirit back. I’ll get rid of the crime, so you’ll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot.”
The beleaguered Republican candidate then claimed that murders are “up all over the place no matter where you look”, even though FBI crime statistics show that homicides dropped to a 41-year low in 2014.
Trump’s recent overtures to non-white voters are the result of extremely low polling numbers, with one poll showing him earning only 1% support from African Americans. Despite this, the reality television star boasted last week that he would “get over 95% of the African-American vote” by 2020, a claim that made even his running mate, Indiana governor Mike Pence, laugh.
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