The Republican candidate supported police and expressed concern about the growing homicide toll in black neighborhoods—in contrast with his opponent.
Black Lives Matter helped propel Donald Trump’s unforeseen ascent to the White House. The public understood the threat to law and order posed by the movement’s calumnies about the nation’s police—and so, uniquely in the presidential race, did Trump. Trump repeatedly promised to end what he rightly called the “false narrative” about the police that was leading to rising homicides and urban riots. During the first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton in September 2016, Trump correctly pointed out that “right now, our police, in many cases, are afraid to do anything.” In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in July, Trump announced: “I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.” He then articulated a foundational principle of civil society: “The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.”
By contrast, Hillary Clinton embraced the Black Lives Matter movement.