According to Mediaite, during a speech at the California GOP convention in Anaheim, former President Donald Trump made a startling and controversial statement that prompted wild cheers from his pro-Trump audience. In the midst of his address, Trump declared his intention to send federal law enforcement to cities with a mandate to shoot shoplifters as they exited stores.
Trump’s speech was marked by several provocative moments, including his ridiculing of an attack on Paul Pelosi, which was committed by a Trump supporter and was met with laughter from the crowd. However, the most astonishing moment came when Trump addressed the issue of crime and pledged to empower federal law enforcement officers to use lethal force against shoplifters. This statement elicited enthusiastic cheers and chants from the audience that took some time to subside.
In his speech, Trump singled out places with what he described as a “true breakdown in the rule of law,” citing Oakland, Los Angeles, and other unspecified locations as examples. He vowed to utilize every available means and deploy federal law enforcement assets as needed to restore safety and peace in these areas.
Trump then painted a vivid but contentious picture of rampant theft and violence, describing scenes where groups of young people allegedly entered department stores to pillage them, sometimes resorting to violence against bystanders. He claimed that his administration would put an immediate end to such criminal behavior by implementing a harsh policy: “If you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store!” This declaration was met with fervent cheers and chants from the crowd.
Trump went on to assert that law enforcement officers were often hindered from taking action and were instructed to “stand by” or “stand back.” He claimed that officers feared losing their livelihoods, including their homes, pensions, and jobs if they intervened in such situations.
The former president’s remarks were met with both support and criticism, sparking a debate over the appropriateness and legality of his proposed approach to tackling crime. Trump’s speech once again highlighted the deep political divisions in the United States and the polarizing effect of his statements on his supporters.
DONALD TRUMP: But in places where there is a true breakdown in the rule of law such as Oakland. Oh, Oakland is so bad, I will use every power at my disposal. But it’s not Oakland. It’s in Los Angeles. It’s all over. I mean, it’s terrible. It’s in places that you wouldn’t even believe.
But I will use every– everything I can, every single power at my disposal, including sending as many federal law enforcement assets as required to restore safe safety and peace. And we will immediately stop. And some people will say, oh, this is terrible. I can’t believe, you know, these people are killing people when they go into the stores. You’ll have 300 young people who are not looking for a good future, walk into a store, a big department store, and just pillage it. And if you happen to be there when they’re there, they’ll knock the hell out of you and kill you in some cases.
And we will immediately stop all of the pillaging and theft. Very simply, if you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store!
(CROWD CHEERS WILDLY).
(CROWD QHISTLES AND CHEERS WILDLY).
CROWD: TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP!
DONALD TRUMP: And everything will immediately stop. You won’t have any more of that.
And, you know, our law enforcement is great, but they’re not allowed to do anything. They’re told to stand by. Stand back. Don’t touch. Don’t touch! They watch hundreds of kids walk out with television sets. And if they do anything, they lose their family. They lose their house, they lose their pension. They get fired.