Muslim NYPD Officers Request Meeting with President-elect Trump
By Hunter Walker
A group of Muslim New York City police officers, including a cop who was a victim of an alleged hate crime earlier this month, has asked to meet with President-elect Donald Trump. Thus far Trump has not responded to their request.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams wrote to Trump on Dec. 6 to ask him to meet with Officer AmlElsokary and “several of her colleagues from the NYPD Muslim Officers Society.” Elsokary was the victim of an alleged hate crime in Brooklyn recently , when she said she saw a man shoving her 16-year-old son. Elsokary, who was off-duty at the time, said the man then referred to her as a member of the Islamic State terrorist group, threatened to cut her throat and told her to go back to her country. Christopher Nelson, 36, was arrested and charged with menacing as a hate crime.
The push for a meeting with Trump came after Elsokary and other members of the NYPD Muslim Officers Society appeared at Brooklyn Borough Hall with Adams to discuss the incident. Elsokary, who was cited for bravery by the department in 2014 after she and her partner rushed into a burning building to save a baby, delivered tearful remarks in which she predicted that New Yorkers “are going to be there to help me and be supportive.” After they spoke, Adams brought up the idea of arranging a meeting with Trump. Elsokary and the other officers asked him to set it up.
In his letter to Trump, Adams cited the NYPD’s claim that there has been a 115 percent spike in hate crimes in New York City since Election Day. Adams, a former police officer, described this as part of a national trend driven by “deep tensions that have persisted around our great country in the weeks following a long and arduous national election” and “the rhetoric of this campaign season.”
Trump has been criticized for using divisive rhetoric during his presidential campaign, particularly his hard-line stance against Muslim immigration to the US. Though Trump has called for any of his supporters who have participated in racist attacks or incidents of vandalism to “stop,” the president-elect has taken heat for not doing more to denounce hate crimes . In his letter, Adams said Trump could offer “guidance” and reassurance to the country’s larger Muslim-American community.
“This meeting request is rooted in both deep substance and symbolism. The 900 Muslim-American members of our nation’s largest police department, part of a greater law enforcement fraternity that encompasses thousands of our citizens and their families, deserve guidance on how they will be protected amid this uncertain national climate, just as they protect our streets every day,” Adams wrote. “Moreover the welfare of these officers speaks to the greater welfare of the millions of law-abiding Muslim-Americans, many of whom are fearful at this critical juncture in our history,” he added.
Yahoo News reached out to Trump’s presidential transition team to see if he would meet with the officers. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said she believed that Trump had received Adams’ letter but was unsure if the meeting would be scheduled.
“I just don’t have an update on the status of this,” Hicks wrote Friday.
In a statement to Yahoo News, Adams said he would bring the Muslim officers’ “message” to Trump’s Manhattan headquarters, Trump Tower, even if they were not invited to meet with the president-elect.
“President-elect Trump needs to hear from and respond to the concerns of Officer Elsokary and other Muslim members of our law enforcement community. They are not only the first line of defense on our streets; they are ambassadors of the American diversity that they represent, and millions of their brother and sister citizens are as concerned about their welfare as they are their own. Whether or not we have an invitation to Trump Tower, I promise that their message will be directly delivered,” said Adams.
According to a source in Adams’ office, the Brooklyn borough president and Officer Elsokary plan to visit Trump Tower to deliver another letter in the coming days if they are not invited to meet with Trump.