Justice

President Donald Trump Gives Police Officers Bizarre Instruction in His Speech

On Friday, President Donald Trump gave a speech in Long Island, New York, flanked by police officers, telling them to be rough with anyone they deemed suspicious.

trump speech police officers

Trump was speaking at Suffolk Community College regarding gang violence, specifically the MS-13 gang, an international gang that began in Southern California.

As Long Island's Newsday reported, Trump told the officers, "we have your backs 100 percent, not like in the old days" before launching into a rant about how he believes suspects have been treated too kindly in the past.

"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,'" Trump said.

He went on to add: "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, OK?'"

Considering how police brutality is an issue in the United States, some considered his comments to be tone deaf at best.

The Washington Post reports 574 people have been "shot and killed by police in 2017."

Trump's comments on police force prompted a statement from Suffolk County Police Department and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

"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," read an emailed statement, according to The Washington Post. "As a department, we do not and will not tolerate 'rough[ing]' up prisoners."

Washington Post reports The International Association of Chiefs of Police "did not specifically mention Trump by name" in their statement, part of which read:

"Managing use of force is one of the most difficult challenges faced by law enforcement agencies. The ability of law enforcement officers to enforce the law, protect the public, and guard their own safety, the safety of innocent bystanders, and even those suspected or apprehended for criminal activity is very challenging.

For these reasons, law enforcement agencies develop policies and procedures, as well as conduct extensive training, to ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers."

MSNBC's Kyle Griffin tweeted the entire statement:

Check out Trump's speech below.