Trump made a speech before officers with the Suffolk County, New York, Police Department on Friday, in which he said law enforcement around the nation should not be "too nice" when dealing with handcuffed suspects.
"When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just them them thrown in rough".
"President Trump's visit to Suffolk County is a cynical ploy to capitalize on recent headlines, cast aspersions on entire communities and push his anti-immigrant agenda", New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement.
"Like when you guys put somebody in the auto 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", he added. "You could take the hand away".
The approval of a little extra violence drew applause from the officers gathered at the speech, but the Suffolk County Police Department as an organization (which recently had a police chief imprisoned for beating a suspect) disavowed the remarks.
In a statement, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said, "The NYPD's training and policies relating to the use of force only allow for measures that are reasonable and necessary under any circumstances, including the arrest and transportation of prisoners".
Cops cheer after President Trump praises police brutality while encouraging officers to rough up suspects during arrest. Don't hit their head? This time, the president encouraged police brutality during a time in the country where many have accused the boys (and girls) in blue of using excessive force.
President Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking to law enforcement officials on the street gang MS-13, Friday, July 28, 2017, in Brentwood, N.Y. But here in Baltimore, a city still reckoning with terse relationships between police and the communities they're sworn to protect, this story was all too familiar.
And as the President noted in a recent interview with The New York Times, "there are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any".
Trump's comments about the treatment of people in police custody resurrected memories of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man who was shackled but alive when he was put into a Baltimore police van in April 2015. Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously.
"This led to protests, a riot and an unprecedented two-year spike in violence that now has the city on track for close to 400 homicides this year, more than NY, which is 14 times larger". Those constraints, however, have been lifted by the Trump administration; the president endeavored to rally the troops: "And I want to just tell you all together, right now, the reason I came - this is the most important sentence to me: On behalf of the American people, I want to say, thank you".
Maya Wiley, the chairwoman of the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board, condemned Mr. Trump's speech, saying in a statement that it was "shameful, risky and damages the progress our city has made toward improving police-community relations".
Mr. Trump also vowed in his speech to support law enforcement officers by ensuring his administration made surplus military equipment available to police.