The president of Philadelphia's police union on Wednesday decried the protests sweeping cities across the country after grand juries in Missouri and New York state cleared white officers who killed unarmed black suspects.

"We have to guard against a growing trend in this country to replace due process and the legal system with media-fueled mob rule and sensationalism," said John McNesby, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge.

McNesby spoke after a ceremony at the union hall in Northeast Philadelphia honoring city police officers for valor and bravery. While he directly addressed a small group of reporters, many who had attended the event remained in the packed union hall to hear him as well, Philly.com reports.

"While it appears to enrage professional hate-mongers," he continued, "the fact is, police officers are covered by the same constitutional protections that they are risking their lives to protect [for] everyone else."

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