WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — The brother and widow of slain Newman Police Dept. Cpl. Ronil Singh both spoke at a memorial held in the nation’s capital Wednesday, thanking President Trump for his support and all the law enforcement officers gathered for their service.
The officer’s brother Reggie Singh and his widow Anamika Singh were attending the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on Capitol Hill along with Singh’s 9-month-old son Aranau and several other family members.
Cpl. Singh was killed during an early morning traffic stop on December 26, the day after Christmas. During the stop, Singh yelled “shots fired” over the radio before going silent.
Multiple agencies responded to assist and Singh was found at the scene with gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The suspect — later identified as 32-year-old Gustavo Perez Arriaga, an alleged member of the Sureño gang — was taken into custody two days later.
Singh was a native of Fiji and had been employed by the police department of Newman, a small town in Stanislaus County, since July 2011.
The case rekindled the debate over California’s sanctuary law that limits cooperation by local authorities with federal immigration authorities. President Trump has cited Singh’s killing during repeated calls for tougher border security.
During Wednesday’s memorial, the President once again criticized the nation’s immigration laws, recalling the deaths of a number of police officers including Singh.
“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 have been kept out,” said President Trump said of Singh’s accused killer Arriaga.
The President also called for anyone who kills a police officer to get the death penalty.
“We believe that criminals who murder police officers should immediately, with trial, get the death penalty,” said Trump. “But quickly. The trial should go fast. Its gotta be fair, but its gotta go fast.”
Reggie Singh was introduced to the gathered law enforcement officers by the President.
“I’d like to thank every single law enforcement officer over here. What you guys go through, I heard stories from my brother,” he said.
He quickly turned to praising the President.
“This man over here,” he continued, gesturing at the President. “The Singh family supports him. Whatever he’s doing for law enforcement, we support him. His team at the White House has reached out to us multiple times.”
Anamika Singh initially said she wasn’t going to speak, but suddenly changed her mind just as she was walking away from the podium.
“It’s something I didn’t get to do at the office. I actually want to thank you personally. You’re the only one who reached out and gave your condolences to the family,” she said tearfully. “And it means a lot to all of our law enforcement families that are here for the sacrifice that my husband and his brothers in blue and sisters in blue have given. So I want to thank you for that. And every family sitting out here wants justice for what happened to their loved ones. And that’s what I want for my husband.”
President Trump thanked them for their praise and promised that the deaths of the officers would not be in vain.
“And there will be justice. Justice will happen. We have the people, we have the spirit, we have the mindset,” said the President. “We’re taking care of our law enforcement officers. And we’re taking care of everybody.”