President Donald Trump, speaking at the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, on Capitol Hill May 15, praised law enforcement officers including Indian-American police officer Ronil Singh of Newman, California, who was shot to death during a routine traffic stop on Christmas night last year.
During his speech, in a protracted and impromptu moment, the President brought all the members of Singh’s family present at the Capitol Hill event, up on stage, praising them for their fortitude and the courage displayed by Singh. Singh’s wife and brother also spoke, praising the President and his law enforcement policies.
After calling out the names of several other families of fallen officers, Trump focused on the Singh family for an impressive amount of time and what followed was a seemingly impromptu interaction that saw the whole Indian-American family next to the President on the stage.
“Here with us today is the family of California Police Officer Ronil Singh. And I’ve gotten to know his family; they’re an incredible family. They just left the Oval Office. We took pictures. And it’s not an easy situation, what they’re going through. Frankly, they’re going through hell,” Trump said.
He gave a brief history of the Indian-American police officer, reverting to his prepared script.
“Ronil came to this country legally in 2003 with the dream of earning the badge of an American police officer. That was always his dream. And that’s exactly what Ronil did: He devoted his life to defending the laws of our country,” Trump said.
“On Christmas night, he took a picture in front of the family Christmas tree with his beautiful wife, their beloved son, and Sam, their loyal police dog. It’s a picture that all of us saw. I remember it so vividly. I’ll never forget it. I didn’t know I’d get to know the family and greet the family and show the family the Lincoln bedroom at the White House. I didn’t know that. But it’s an extraordinary family. But I’ll never forget the picture,” Trump said.
“Then, Corporal Singh headed out on duty — which he loved — to protect and to serve. You all know the story. Because hours later, he was gunned down and killed during a simple traffic stop,” the President recalled.
“He was a vicious killer, this man that crossed into our country from the border just a little while before. A vicious killer that could’ve been kept out with border security, with the wall, with whatever the hell it takes. … Could’ve been kept out,” Trump said to applause.
“But we’re getting it there. We’re building the wall. We’re beefing up like you wouldn’t believe. The military has come into action. People are trying to come into our country illegally because our country is doing well,” President Trump said, adding, “They can’t come in illegally. They have to come in through the legal system,” a harbinger of the immigration modernization plan which he was to announce next day.
“They have to come in through merit. They can’t come in like this killer came in — just rode across the border, went through every sign he could go through,” Trump said.
He called the Singh family “special” and urged the late police officer’s wife Anamika (who was carrying her child in her arms) to stand. Present in the audience were Reggie Singh, brother
Anamika Singh, wife, Arnav Singh, son, Rohini Singh, mother, and Veer Singh, father.
“And also here are his great parents, Rohini and Veer, and his brother. Where is Reggie? His brother, Reggie,” Trump said, urging Reggie Singh to come to the stage.
“This is unexpected, but this family, I tell you, I’ve — you know, you get to know some people. Come on up. They may let you up. I think so,” the President quipped. “I think Reggie is okay. Come on up, Reg.” Ultimately, the whole family was on stage in what appeared to be an unplanned part of the ceremony.
“Got to see it to understand what it’s all about. It’s hard to imagine what they’ve been through. Hard to imagine,” Trump said.
“I am the brother of Corporal Ronil Singh. I’d like to thank every single law enforcement officer over here. What you guys go through — I heard stories from my brother,” Reggie Singh said in a short speech, adding praise for President Trump. “This man over here, the Singh family supports him. Whatever he is doing for the law enforcement, we support him. His team at the White House has reached out to us multiple times. Multiple times. I don’t think that ever happened before. Ever. This man is amazing, and my family supports him. Thank you,” Reggie Singh said, interrupted several times by applause.
The President thanked him and then asked Anamika Singh if she would like to say something. At first hesitant, Anamika Singh decided to speak.
“Actually, I do want to say something,” she said, “It’s something I didn’t get to do at the office. I actually want to thank you personally for — you’re the only one that actually reached out and said — gave your condolence to the family. And it actually means a lot to all of our law enforcement families that are here. For the sacrifice my husband and his brothers in blue, in (inaudible) blue, have given,” she said, adding, “So I want to thank you for that. And we all — every family sitting out here wants justice for what happened to their loved ones. And that’s what I want for my husband.”