Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Gainesville police reject President's Trumps remarks about treatment of suspects

President Donald Trump speaks to law enforcement officials on the street gang MS-13 Friday President Donald Trump speaks to law enforcement officials on the street gang MS-13 Friday
Connie Andrews | 31 July, 2017, 01:24

"When you guys put somebody in the auto and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?" One man was taken into custody after it was discovered he had been deported from the country on two previous occasions, officials say.

The department issued the statement after Trump told police officers "don't be too nice" during a speech that was largely about combating criminal gangs. Zeke Johnson, the senior director of programs at Amnesty International USA noted Trump's "inflammatory and hateful speech will only escalate tensions between police and communities".

In a tweet on Friday evening, the Gainesville Police Department said it "rejects these remarks and continues to serve with respect".

Gainesville policeman Ben Tobias echoed this sentiment in a separate tweet.

Some police leaders anxious that three sentences uttered by the president during a Long Island speech could upend almost three decades of fence-mending since the 1991 Los Angeles Police Department beating of Rodney King ushered in an era of distrust of police. "Those that applauded and cheered should be ashamed", he wrote on Twitter.

The Suffolk County Police Department issued a statement after Trump's remarks. "As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners", the statement said.

"Violations of those rules and procedures are treated extremely seriously".

It read in part: 'Law enforcement officers are trained to treat individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect. DeRay McKesson, a prominent voice in the Black Lives Matter movement who made an unsuccessful bid to become mayor of Baltimore, pointed to the reaction of the law enforcement officials Trump spoke to.

In this city it is clear that, as the Justice Department concluded, the police force's "relationship with certain Baltimore communities is broken".

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also pushed back hard against Trump's rhetoric. "These are animals", the president said.

In a statement on Saturday, the NY police commissioner, James P. O'Neill, said the department's training and policies about the use of force "only allow for measures that are reasonable and necessary under any circumstances, including the arrest and transportation of prisoners".

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, unsafe and damages the progress our city has made toward improving police-community relations". "No act of police violence or other misconduct, where proven, will go unanswered by the CCRB", said Wiley in the statement. "I said, 'Please don't be too nice, '" said Mr. Trump, addressing a crowd in New York's Suffolk County. "I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you".

Trump's provocations of law enforcement also must be viewed with this in mind: Trump's Department of Justice is charged with enforcing a sweeping consent decree with huge reforms for the city's police department after a federal investigation launched following Gray's death revealed patterns of discriminatory and unconstitutional policing.

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