Police Chiefs from around the country are lining up to speak out against President Trump after he addressed a crowd of police officers on Friday encouraging them to rough up suspects.
“Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put your hand over” their head, he said, putting his hand above his head for emphasis. “Like, don’t hit their head, and they just killed somebody — don’t hit their head. ‘I said, ‘You can take the hand away, O.K.?’”
While Trump drew cheers and laughter from the crowd, police leaders from around the country weren’t impressed. They immediately let it known that Trump’s speech didn’t reflect their values.
It is our sworn duty to protect people from unjustified violence and harm, no matter who disagrees.https://t.co/ouDLXH6JfY
— Burlington Police (@OneNorthAvenue) July 29, 2017
The @POTUS made remarks today that endorsed and condoned police brutality.
GPD rejects these remarks and continues to serve with respect.
— Gainesville Police (@GainesvillePD) July 29, 2017
To be clear, inappropriate attempt at gallows humor does not reflect values of respect & commitment to constitutional policing of profession https://t.co/lGJeLa6nm1
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) July 28, 2017
Well said, Chief. I could not have said it better so I will not try. https://t.co/7WTxBAdq7G
— Fred Fletcher (@ChiefFletcher) July 28, 2017
I’m a cop.
I do not agree with or condone @POTUS remarks today on police brutality.
Those that applauded and cheered should be ashamed.
— Ben Tobias (@GPDBenTobias) July 28, 2017
— Chief Clarence Cox (@Cox_Chief) July 28, 2017
As a former Police Chief I am deeply disappointed and disturbed by President Trump’s statement on use of force. pic.twitter.com/wh5l33hIvu
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) July 29, 2017
It’s disappointing & disheartening to hear our Commander in Chief encourage & condone violation of suspect’s rights. https://t.co/Bij8eHByiX
— Chief Jim Ferraris (@chiefferraris) July 29, 2017
The International Association of Chiefs of Police even released a statement on the correct use of force in response to Trump’s comments, saying officers were trained to treat all people with “dignity and respect.”
“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.
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.”
You can watch the entirety of Trump’s speech here: