During a speech Friday about cracking down on the MS-13 gang, President Donald Trump pushed it too far when it came to the topic of police brutality.
At one point during his speech at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, New York, in front of a crowd of law enforcement, Trump urged officers, “please don’t be too nice.”
He went on to talk about removing common arrest procedures like protecting a suspect’s head when putting them into a police vehicle. “I said you can take the hand away, OK,” the president said, apparently forgetting about the whole concept of innocent until proven guilty.
Twitter picked up on this and quickly accused the president of encouraging police violence. And they were not OK with it.
“to protect and serve and to not be too nice”
— E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcS) July 28, 2017
POTUS just encouraged cops to be rough putting criminals into “the paddy wagon.”
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 28, 2017
the president normalizing and legitimizing police brutality is a big deal
— fluffy (@curiousgawker) July 28, 2017
Trump openly encourages needless police brutality. This perpetuates the broken trust that makes violence toward and from police more likely. https://t.co/3SG0ymo9qF
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) July 28, 2017
Amnesty International USA weighed in on Trump’s comments. In a statement condemning the president’s views, Zeke Johnson, senior director of programs, said, “This inflammatory and hateful speech will only escalate tensions between police and communities and put both law enforcement and civilians at risk.”
He added, “encouraging violence by police is irresponsible and reprehensible.”
Trump’s views on law enforcement and inciting violence are nothing new — and continue to include a racist undercurrent directed at communities of color.