Trump Finds Police Brutality Funny, According Sarah Huckabee Sanders

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“I believe he was making a joke at the time,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders when a reporter asked about Trump’s pro-brutality speech to police officials.

 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump was probably joking when he suggested police should not worry about injuring suspects.

Trump made the comments last week while addressing police officials in Long Island, New York.

“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, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,’” Trump stated. “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?’”

The words drew laughter and applause from a number of law enforcement officers in the audience, but Sanders claimed the comment was made in jest.

“I believe he was making a joke at the time,” she told a reporter after he questioned her about Trump’s motives.

Some Trump supporters, including Blue Lives Matter, have defended the president’s statement.

 

However, even as Sanders argued Trump was not being serious, the remarks from Trump prompted a furor of criticism from current and former law enforcement officers, police departments and civil rights groups, who claimed such words are dangerous in light of the current climate of distrust between police officers and the public.

Police officers can face charges for resorting to excessive force and the Department of Justice stated its investigations of police misconduct usually involve use of force.

In just a few short hours, the Suffolk County Police released a statement refuting Trump’s comments and stating it does “not and will not tolerate ‘roughing’ up prisoners.”

 

The International Association of Chiefs of Police also issued a statement relating to use of force by officers.

 

“[The president] actively encourages police violence,” said Vanita Gupta, who ran the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division during the Obama administration and now heads the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Amnesty International said Trump’s speech would “only escalate tensions between police and communities.”

 

 

 

 

 

Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst

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