Trump raises ire of US po­lice

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

WASHINGTON: Po­lice de­part­ments in the US crit­i­cised Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump af­ter he urged po­lice forces on Fri­day not to be “too nice” dur­ing ar­rests, as of­fi­cers risk un­der­min­ing ef­forts to al­le­vi­ate ten­sions be­tween the po­lice and com­mu­ni­ties.

The crit­i­cism came shortly af­ter Trump gave a speech to po­lice in the state of New York against vi­o­lent street crime.

“When you see th­ese thugs be­ing thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said: ‘Please don’t be too nice’, ” Trump said dur­ing the speech amid laugh­ter and cheers from a crowd of uni­formed of­fi­cers.

When call­ing the gang­sters “an­i­mals”, Trump said there was no need for po­lice to use their hands to pro­tect the heads of those hand­cuffed sus­pects when putting them into po­lice ve­hi­cles. “You can take the hand away, okay?” Trump said.

Trump’s re­marks have quickly drawn con­dem­na­tion from po­lice or­gan­i­sa­tions, do­mes­tic law en­force­ment agen­cies and po­lice of­fi­cers, as many be­lieved the US pres­i­dent de­liv­ered a “wrong mes­sage”.

The Po­lice Foun­da­tion said al­though it ap­pre­ci­ates Trump’s sup­port for law en­force­ment, it can­not sup­port any commentary that un­der­mines the trust that com­mu­ni­ties have placed in the po­lice to pro­tect and serve, while another non-profit group, the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Po­lice, said of­fi­cers are trained to treat ev­ery­one with “dig­nity and re­spect”.

The po­lice de­part­ment of Suf­folk County, where Trump de­liv­ered the con­tro­ver­sial speech, said it has strict rules and pro­ce­dures re­lat­ing to the han­dling of pris­on­ers, warn­ing “vi­o­la­tions of those rules and pro­ce­dures are treated ex­tremely se­ri­ously”.

James P O’Neill, the New York po­lice com­mis­sioner, said sug­ges­tions for po­lice of­fi­cers to use al­ter­na­tive stan­dards for use of force other than what is rea­son­able and nec­es­sary are “ir­re­spon­si­ble, un­pro­fes­sional” and “send a wrong mes­sage to law en­force­ment as well as the pub­lic”.

Gainesville po­lice spokesman Ben To­bias re­buffed Trump’s po­si­tion by tweet­ing that he, as a cop, dis­agreed with the pres­i­dent’s re­marks and that those who “cheered should be ashamed”. Xin­hua

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