Why Trump discouraging officers from being 'too nice' matters in Baltimore

"The president today told a group of police officers, 'We have your backs 100 percent, ' if they gratuitously hurt people whom they suspect of a criminal offense", he said.

Trump said his administration is removing these gang members from the USA, but added: "We'd like to get them out a lot faster and when you see... these thugs being thrown into the back of the paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, 'Please don't be too nice'".

"When you guys put somebody in the auto and you're protecting their head you know, the way you put their hand over [their head]", Trump continued, mimicking the motion. "I said, 'You can take the hand away, OK?'"

Much like the Boys Scouts, who had to apologize and distance themselves from Donald Trump after the president gave a freakish speech to them this week, the Suffolk County Police Department has come out against Trump's talk on Friday.

During his speech, the president told police to not be too easy on suspects who have been arrested.

The Gainesville Police Department, and an officer in the department, also tweeted condemnations of the remarks. 'Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. But the president did not mention Sessions in his remarks - his latest slight against the man he's been publicly fuming at for recusing himself from all matters related to Russian election meddling.

The department's missteps - neither officer had activated his body camera, so there's no video evidence of the fatal encounter - resulted in worldwide criticism and the ouster of Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau. DeRay McKesson, a prominent voice in the Black Lives Matter movement who made an unsuccessful bid to become mayor of Baltimore, pointed to the reaction of the law enforcement officials Trump spoke to.

"As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners", it said on Twitter.

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The comments were made during an address largely focusing on the transnational, violent gang MS-13.

"Violations of those rules and procedures are treated extremely seriously".

"President Trump's comments fly in the face of the responsibility our City's officers display in the line of duty".

The Los Angeles Police Department also released a statement regarding Trump's speech.

In this city it is clear that, as the Justice Department concluded, the police force's "relationship with certain Baltimore communities is broken".

"This led to protests, a riot and an unprecedented two-year spike in violence that now has the city on track for close to 400 homicides this year, more than NY, which is 14 times larger". A federal judge approved the agreement in April, requiring city police to limit how and when they can engage suspects, to better train officers on how to interact with residents, and to enhance civilian oversight and transparency.

Phillip Atiba Goff, the founder of the New York-based Center for Policing Equity, said in a statement issued Friday evening that Trump's speech was "dangerous", dehumanizing and "implied a disrespect for the rule of law".

  • Ismael Montgomery