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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:

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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.

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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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