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Trump to Police: ‘Don’t Be Too Nice’; Be ‘Rough’ to ‘Thugs’

President Trump addressed a crowd of police officers in Long Island about cracking down on the gang MS-13, and said some concerning things about law enforcement and police brutality.

He said, “When you see these thugs thrown into the back of a paddy wagon. You see them thrown in, rough. I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’” He discussed how officers protect a suspect’s head while they are handcuffed, and being placed into the back of a police car: “The way you put your hand—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.’”

Earlier in the week, at a rally he told graphic stories of “animals” who murder “young, beautiful” girls. The descriptions were used to justify his crackdown of sanctuary cities, a border wall and more immigration officers.

Following his comments today, the International Association of Chiefs of Police released a statement about the use of force, which said, in part:


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 Suffolk County Police Department—where today’s rally was hosted—has also spoken out against the comments:

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The Suffolk County Police Department has strict rules and procedures relating to the handling of prisoners, and violations of those rules and procedures are treated extremely seriously. As a department, we do not and will not tolerate “rough[ing]” up prisoners.


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