“When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please, don’t be too nice.'”
This was the President of the United States, appearing to suggest to police officers that they can rough up suspects.
“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?”
His speech gathered some applause and laughs from the officers of the Suffolk County Police Department in New York behind him and from the audience.
However, the President’s comments have been denounced by various police departments, including Suffolk County.
Retired San Francisco Police Department lieutenant and second vice-president of the Filipino-American Law Enforcement Officers Association, Eric Quema, also disagreed with the president’s comments — but to a point.
“I think he just echoed what the majority of law abiding citizens feel that have been victims, or had loved ones victimized, or in communities ravaged by crime and are fed up with what they believe is politicians and liberals ‘coddling criminals’,” said Quema in a statement to BA.
Quema adds that all those in law enforcement have a code of conduct to provide equal care and respect for everyone, including those who break the law.
Meanwhile, during Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was quick to respond to questions about Trump’s comments.
“I believe he was making a joke at the time,” said Sanders.
Other law enforcement officers and their advocates have agreed.
The group Blue Lives Matter tweeted that the president was only joking.