Tuesday, August 01, 2017
"By Editorial Board July 31 at 7:31 PM
OF ALL the irresponsible things that President Trump has said — and there have been far too many — perhaps nothing threatens to do greater damage than his remarks encouraging police to use excessive force. That was demonstrated by the swift public condemnations of his comments from police officials, who understand better than anyone that public safety is not well served if police are seen to be above the law and distrusted.
“Please don’t be too nice” was Mr. Trump’s admonition, to a gathering of law enforcement officials, about arresting and transporting suspects. “When you guys,” he said Friday at an event on Long Island, “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, okay?” As alarming as his comments were, even more jarring was the spectacle of officers in uniform cheering and applauding. Do they need a reminder of 25-year-old Freddie Gray and how he died from a spinal injury after transport in a Baltimore police van in 2015?
It was heartening, though, to see police officials from across the country distance themselves from — with many firmly denouncing — the president’s comments giving a seeming wink and nod to police brutality. New York’s Suffolk County Police Department, which had officers present at the Friday event, said it has strict rules and procedures that don’t tolerate the “roughing up of prisoners.” New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said unreasonable or unnecessary use of force “erodes trust at a time when we need support from our local communities the most.” Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger was, as he bluntly writes on this page, “appalled” to hear such comments from the president of the United States."
Police brutality is no joke, Mr. President - The Washington Post