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Trump awards Medal of Valor to six officers who responded to Dayton mass shooting

Trump presents Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor

President Trump presented the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to six police officers who responded to the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio in August and presented five certificates of commendation to civilians who helped save lives at the Walmart shooting in El Paso.

"These incredible patriots responded to the worst violence and most barbaric hatred with the best of American courage, character and strength. Faced with grave and harrowing threats to men and women standing behind us stepped forward to save the lives of their fellow Americans," the president said.  

He described the actions taken under harrowing circumstances by each of the officers, who returned fire against the Dayton gunman. And he praised the Walmart employees who shepherded customers to safety and confronted the El Paso gunman.

The award is the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer. The president told the stories of each officer on stage, hailing them for their bravery.

"They stared down death to protect the innocent, and stand tall they did just for righteous and for good," Mr. Trump said.  

Donald Trump — Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor
President Trump (R) applauds after presenting the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to officers from the Azusa and Irwindale police departments during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on Wed., May 22, 2019. Getty

Here is the list of recipients:

Dayton

  • Sergeant William C. Knight
  • Officer Brian L. Rolfes
  • Officer Jeremy M. Campbell
  • Officer Vincent J. Carter
  • Officer Ryan D. Nabel
  • Officer David M. Denlinger

El Paso

  • Robert Evans
  • Gilbert Serna
  • Marisela Luna
  • Angelica Silva

The president, who read off a teleprompter, had a markedly different tone from a few hours before, when he cut short a meeting with top Democrats on infrastructure and delivered an impromptu statement in the White House Rose Garden. The White House surprised reporters earlier in the day with a Rose Garden event in which the president blasted Democrats, and said he told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that work on infrastructure cannot move forward while investigations continue on Capitol Hill.

Pelosi had told reporters she believes the president engaged in a "cover-up," stoking the president's ire.

"So I've said from the beginning, right from the beginning, that you probably can't go down two tracks, you can go down the investigation track and you can go down the investment track or the track of, let's get things done for the American people," Mr. Trump said. "I love the American people. Drug prices are coming down, first time in 51 years, because if my administration. But we can get them down way lower working with the Democrats. We can solve the problem at the border in 15 minutes if the Democrats would give us a few votes."

Arden Farhi contributed to this report.

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