The death of Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh again took center stage in the debate over President Donald Trump’s border wall Thursday, with Singh’s brother, Reggie, appearing with the president in a visit to Texas.
Reggie Singh told the story of his brother, who emigrated from Fiji and pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a law enforcement officer. Ronil Singh was gunned down in the early morning hours of Dec. 26 during a traffic stop of a suspect drunken driver.
The man accused of killing Singh, Paulo Virgen Mendoza, was in the United States illegally, authorities have said. He was captured after a 55-hour manhunt; several people alleged to have helped in Mendoza’s escape also are in the United States illegally, authorities have said.
“The way he was killed, what my family’s going through right now, I do not want any other family law enforcement person to go through that,” Reggie Singh said, seated at a table next to Trump during a roundtable discussion at a border patrol station in McAllen, Texas. “Whatever it takes to minimize, put a stop to it my family fully supports it.”
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Trump has used the case repeatedly as he argues for funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border, including in an address to the country Tuesday night.
Sitting between border patrol officers, local officials and military representatives, Trump insisted that he was “winning” the shutdown fight as he seeks money for the wall that’s been his signature promise since his presidential campaign.
McAllen is located in the Rio Grande Valley, the busiest part of the border for illegal border crossings. Several hundred protesters were chanting and waving signs opposing a border wall next to the South Texas airport where Trump was set to arrive. Across the street, a smaller group of protesters shouted back, chanting, “Build that wall!”
And in Washington, federal workers denounced Trump at a rally with congressional Democrats, demanding he reopen the government so they can get back to work and receive their paychecks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.