Cops cheer after President Trump praises police brutality while encouraging officers to rough up suspects during arrest.
In an appalling display, President Donald Trump gave a speech at a Long Island community college on Friday during which he encouraged the use of unauthorized and illegal police violence, asking police to be “rough” with criminal suspects, suggesting that police officers slam suspects’ heads into their police vehicles when placing them under arrest.
Even more appalling, the cops in attendance cheered Trump’s endorsement of police brutality.
Trump, speaking at Suffolk County Community College, said:
When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, 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, 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, okay?
Trump’s audience, mostly police officers from the Suffolk County Police Department, cheered Trump’s praise for police brutality.
However, after the speech, in a desperate attempt at damage control, the Suffolk County Police Department issued two statements via Twitter distancing the department from Trump’s recommendations, and warning officers that police brutality will not be tolerated:
As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.
— Suffolk County PD (@SCPDHq) July 28, 2017
(The SCPD has strict rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners. Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously.)
(As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.)
While the rejection of Trump’s endorsement of police brutality is commendable, the fact remains that the police cheered when Trump praised police brutality. In addition, the Suffolk County Police Department is already under federal oversight for discrimination and racial profiling of Latinos.
Adding insult to injury, the department’s former chief was recently sentenced to prison for beating a suspect.
As one might expect, Human rights groups and other activists immediately condemned Trump’s apparent endorsement of police brutality.
Jeffery Robinson, ACLU’s deputy legal director, said:
By encouraging police to dole out extra pain at will, the president is urging a kind of lawlessness that already imperils the health and lives of people of color at shameful rates.
Barbara Arnwine, president of the Transformative Justice Coalition, a Washington, DC-based civil liberties group, said Trump is “placing people’s lives in danger” and his remarks will encourage “police departments to engage in unlawful, unconstitutional behavior.” Speaking with Al Jazeera, Arnwine said:
I think he is doing our nation a disservice by encouraging police departments to engage in unlawful, unconstitutional behaviour. He is actually placing people’s lives in danger
When a police officer takes someone into custody, you have no idea if they are guilty or not and it is illegal and unlawful for police officers to try to administer punishment when there have been no formal charges filed, no conviction, no sentencing. A punishment is specified by courts, not by police.
Bottom line: Trump praised and encouraged police brutality, and a room full of cops cheered.