President Donald Trump told law enforcement officers to be more aggressive with suspects in a speech in Brentwood, New York on Friday.
Trump was in Brentwood speaking about the gang MS-13 to federal, state and local law enforcement when he made the questionable remarks.
“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 said. “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 of encouragement received and audible applause by officers in the audience.
“For years and years, (laws have) been made to protect the criminal,” Trump said. “Totally protect the criminal, not the officers. You do something wrong, you’re in more jeopardy than they are.
“These laws are stacked against you. We’re changing those laws.”
Watch a video of the speech below:
The speech comes at a time when officers across the nation have received strong criticism for tactics they use when arresting suspects.
Last June, the Baltimore Police Department said that it planned to implement a new “use-of-force” policy that would “emphasize the sanctity of life,” The Baltimore Sun reported.
It was the first time the policy for the police department had been re-written since 2003, and it came in response to the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old died after suffering injuries while in police custody. His death sparked large protests against police brutality and six officers from the department were prosecuted.
According to data provided by StatisticBran.com, there have been 4,861 “unique reports of police misconduct” tracked across the nation from February 2016 to February 2017.
Of those reports of misconduct, 23.8 percent of them were for “excessive force” while another 9.3 percent were for sexual misconduct.
A recent investigation and study performed by the U.S. Department of Justice into the use of force by the Chicago Police Department found that officers use force “that is unreasonable.” The force used by some of the officers was in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment. Some of the instances officers on ride alongs noticed were that officers shot at fleeing suspects “who presented no immediate threat” and also shot at vehicles without any justification.
Read the results of the study from the DOJ in the document below: