Ignoring the Constitution’s provision for due process and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, Donald Trump gave his seal of approval on violent arrest procedures on the part of law enforcement during a speech given to community college police officers in Brentwood, NY on Long Island.
Trump told the audience of police officers that:
“When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddywagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” the president continued. “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?’”
A fair number of the officers standing behind Trump, found his comments humorous – laughing and applauding his recommendations.
President urges officers to commit acts of brutality, officers laugh and cheer wildly. Beginning to think problem isn't a few bad apples. pic.twitter.com/o1sSgw6lGy
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) July 28, 2017
Shortly after the speech, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, issued an official statement contradicting Trump’s advice to 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 police agency which hosted Trump followed suit. Justin Myers, spokesman for the Suffolk County Police Department, tweeted:
“The SCPD has strict rules and procedures relating to the handling of prisoners, and violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously. As a Department, we do not and will not tolerate ‘rough[ing]’ prisoners.”
Former CBS News anchor, Dan Rather, observed in a Facebook post that:
Playing up law and order as a culture war is a longtime tactic. But I don’t think it will play this time. Most people understand that we need police. Most police are good, decent, brave public servants. And the best police officers will tell you that the kind of policing that Mr. Trump is advocating is not only unconstitutional it is downright counterproductive.