Trump ap­pears to ad­vo­cate for rough po­lice treat­ment

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Talk­ing tough on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and vi­o­lent crime, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ap­peared Fri­day to ad­vo­cate rougher treat­ment of peo­ple in po­lice cus­tody, speak­ing dis­mis­sively of the po­lice prac­tice of shield­ing the heads of hand­cuffed sus­pects as they are be­ing placed in pa­trol cars.

“Don’t be too nice,” Trump told law en­force­ment of­fi­cers in Suf­folk County, New York, dur­ing a visit to high­light his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts to crack down on the street gang known as MS-13. The vi­o­lent in­ter­na­tional group has ter­ror­ized com­mu­ni­ties on Long Is­land and in other parts of the coun­try. The pres­i­dent urged Congress to find money to pay for 10,000 Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment of­fi­cers “so that we can elim­i­nate MS-13.”Trump said his ad­min­is­tra­tion is re­mov­ing these gang mem­bers from the United States but said, “We’d like to get them out a lot faster and when you see ... these thugs be­ing thrown into the back of the paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’” Trump then spoke dis­mis­sively of the prac­tice by which ar­rest­ing of­fi­cers shield the heads of hand­cuffed sus­pects as they are placed in po­lice cars.

“I said, ‘You could take the hand away, OK,’” he said, draw­ing ap­plause from many in the au­di­ence, which in­cluded fed­eral and law en­force­ment per­son­nel from the New York-New Jersey area. The Suf­folk County Po­lice De­part­ment said in a state­ment af­ter Trump’s speech that it has strict rules and pro­ce­dures about how pris­on­ers should be han­dled. “Vi­o­la­tions of those rules and pro­ce­dures are treated ex­tremely se­ri­ously. As a de­part­ment, we do not and will not tol­er­ate rough­ing up of pris­on­ers.”

Im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties

The for­mer chief of the Suf­folk County Po­lice De­part­ment, James Burke, was sen­tenced to nearly four years in prison last Novem­ber for beat­ing a hand­cuffed man in an in­ter­ro­ga­tion room. Trump talks reg­u­larly about crack­ing down on MS-13, or Mara Sal­va­trucha. The gang is be­lieved to have orig­i­nated in im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties in Los Angeles in the 1980s and then en­trenched it­self in Cen­tral Amer­ica when its lead­ers were de­ported. It is known for vi­o­lent tac­tics that in­clude tor­tur­ing vic­tims and hack­ing them with ma­chetes. Au­thor­i­ties es­ti­mate the group has tens of thou­sands of mem­bers across Cen­tral Amer­ica and in many US states.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions has in­structed the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s law en­force­ment agen­cies and fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors to pri­or­i­tize the pros­e­cu­tion of MS-13 mem­bers, as directed by an ex­ec­u­tive or­der Trump signed in Fe­bru­ary. Since the be­gin­ning of 2017, the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity’s in­ves­tiga­tive unit has ar­rested 3,311 gang mem­bers na­tion­wide dur­ing tar­geted op­er­a­tions, said Tom Ho­man, act­ing di­rec­tor of US Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment. The agency could not pro­vide sim­i­lar num­bers for 2016.

Trump’s visit to his home state of New York came as Ses­sions was in El Sal­vador to in­crease in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion against the gang. But the pres­i­dent did not men­tion Ses­sions in his re­marks - his lat­est slight against the man he’s been pub­licly fum­ing at for re­cus­ing him­self from all mat­ters re­lated to Rus­sian elec­tion med­dling. 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. Gray left the ve­hi­cle with se­vere neck in­juries, and his sub­se­quent death spawned ri­ot­ing. Six of­fi­cers were charged ini­tially, but pros­e­cu­tors in July 2016 dropped all re­main­ing charges af­ter ac­quit­tals and a hung jury. Gray’s fam­ily agreed in Septem­ber 2015 to a $6.4 mil­lion set­tle­ment with Bal­ti­more.— AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.