Trump’s Police Brutality Comments Condemned by Officers
In a speech delivered to law enforcement, President Trump received cheers from some while others condemned his comments regarding police brutality.
Police organizations and departments have spoken out in response to President Donald Trump’s apparent commendation of police brutality in a speech delivered to law enforcement officers on Friday in Long Island, New York.
In the speech, Trump suggested that police officers should not protect suspects’ heads as they are being placed in a police car.
“Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’” said Trump. “Please, don’t be too nice.”
His comments received cheers and applause from much of the crowd, according to The Huffington Post.
However, not all police officers are supporting Trump’s remarks.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police released this statement on Friday in response to his speech:
Managing use of force is one of the most difficult challenges faced by law enforcement agencies. The ability of law enforcement officers to enforce the law, protect the public, and guard their own safety, the safety of innocent bystanders, and even those suspected or apprehended for criminal activity is very challenging. For these reasons, law enforcement agencies develop policies and procedures, as well as conduct extensive training, to ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers.
Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect. This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy.
The IACP consists of 27,000 law enforcement officers from 130 countries.
New York City Police Department’s Commissioner James O’Neill says that using force other than what is necessary is “irresponsible, unprofessional and sends the wrong message to law enforcement as well as the public”.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans echoed O’Neill’s standpoint, stating “As a police department we are committed to helping people, not harming them.”
Other police departments took to social media to voice their disapproval of the president’s comments.
The Gainesville Police Department in Florida tweeted “The @POTUS made remarks today that endorsed and condoned police brutality. GPD rejects these remarks and continues to serve with respect.”
Trump also said during his speech that current laws are “horrendously stacked” against police officers, suggesting they will be changed to aim support at police officers instead of criminals.
“For years and years, laws have been made to protect the criminal,” he said. “Totally protect the criminal, not the officers. You do something wrong, you’re in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you. We’re changing those laws.”