Two Memphis Democrats oppose police protection for Trump visit

Former President Donald Trump is staging rallies around the country as part of his “American Freedom Tour” and will be holding an event near Memphis, Tennessee.

Not everyone is eager to have the former president come, however, with some local leaders threatening to withhold police protection. 

“The people of Memphis have significantly said no to his rhetoric”

According to Memphis’ Channel 3 News, Memphis City Council members JB Smiley, Jr. and Martavius Jones are supporting a resolution urging the city’s police department not provide Trump with an escort to or from his speaking venue.

To support their stance, the two Democrats are pointing to the fact that Trump’s speech is scheduled to take place at the Landers Center, which is located just across the state line in South Haven, Mississippi.

“We want to make sure our taxpayer dollars go toward things that provide any actual tangible benefit to the people of Memphis,” Smiley was quoted as saying.

However, Smiley made no effort to hide the fact that he and Jones are motivated by opposition to Trump’s political positions.

“I’m an elected official,” he said. “My job is to reflect the will of the people who elected me. The people of Memphis have significantly said no to his rhetoric.”

For its part, the Memphis Police Department has indicated that it has not received any requests for assistance at this time.

Tour spokesperson calls move “mean-spirited” and “partisan”

Channel 3 News noted that the resolution put forward by Smiley and Jones has been sharply criticized by Larry Ward, who serves as spokesperson for the American Freedom Tour.

“It is outrageous for them to even consider endangering the life of a former President of the United States for the most mean-spirited, partisan and penurious political reasons,” the news station quoted Ward as saying in a statement.

“Perhaps the Memphis City Council should consult with the good members of the Memphis Police Department about withholding security for President Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States,” he continued.

“I am not sure they would agree with the Memphis City Council’s proposal, as protecting presidents is and has always been an unambiguous national security priority,” Ward concluded.

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