President Donald Trump encouraged police on Friday to rough up suspects when they arrest them earning him quick condemnation from a Twin Cities group that is fighting police brutality.
Trump told a gathering of police on Long Island, New York that they shouldn’t “be too nice” when arresting suspects and putting them into “a paddy wagon.”
“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, okay?”
Trump’s remarks drew laughter and enthusiastic applause from the police. Trump also said the laws are stacked against the police and “totally made to protect the criminal, not the officers. If you do something wrong, you’re in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you.”
In the Twin Cities which has seen three officer involved shootings in the past two years, reaction was swift from Communities United Against Police Brutality.
“Encouraging brutality? Saying the laws are stacked in favor of criminals? He clearly has no understanding of the Constitution, the fact that people are INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty, and that police brutality is unacceptable because it violates our rights and applies punishment without a trial,” wrote Michelle Gross one of the group’s leaders.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez was recently acquitted of charges in shooting Philando Castile despite video showing Yanez drawing his gun seconds after pulling Philando Castile over for a broken taillight last July in Falcon Heights. He then fired seven bullets into the 32-year-old black man’s car while his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter watched.
This month Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor shot and killed Justine Damond who had called 911 minutes earlier to report a possible sexual assault happening behind her house.
Video of Trump and transcript
Video above: Police applaud when Trump suggests they treat suspects roughly.
Video below: Trump’s entire speech
Now, we’re getting them out anyway, but we’d like to get them out a lot faster. And when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon — you just see them thrown in, rough — I said, please don’t be too nice. (Laughter.) 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, okay? (Laughter and applause.)
It’s essential that Congress fund hundreds more federal immigration judges and prosecutors — and we need them quickly, quickly — if we’re going to dismantle these deadly networks. And I have to tell you, you know, the laws are so horrendously stacked against us, because for years and years they’ve been made to protect the criminal. Totally made to protect the criminal, not the officers. If you do something wrong, you’re in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you. We’re changing those laws. But in the meantime, we need judges for the simplest thing — things that you should be able to do without a judge. But we have to have those judges quickly. In the meantime, we’re trying to change the laws.
We’re also working with Chairman Bob Goodlatte on a series of enforcement measures — and he’s a terrific guy — to keep our country safe from crime and terrorism — and in particular, radical Islamic terrorism. (Applause.) A term never uttered by the past administration. Never uttered. Did anybody ever hear that term? I don’t think so.
But you heard it from me.
That includes cracking down on sanctuary cities that defy federal law, shield visa overstays, and that release dangerous criminals back into the United States’ communities. That’s what’s happening. They’re releasing them. So many deaths where they release somebody back into the community, and they know it’s going to end that way. That’s the sad — they know it’s going to end that way. We’re ending those procedures. (Applause.) Thank you.