Act­ing chief says Trump “con­doned po­lice mis­con­duct”

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Matt Zapo­to­sky and Mark Ber­man

WASH­ING­TON» The leader of the Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion said in an email to staff mem­bers dur­ing the week­end that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump had “con­doned po­lice mis­con­duct” in re­mark­ing to of­fi­cers in Long Is­land that they need not pro­tect sus­pects’ heads when load­ing them into po­lice ve­hi­cles.

Act­ing DEA Ad­min­is­tra­tor Chuck Rosen­berg wrote that he felt ob­li­gated to re­spond to the pres­i­dent’s com­ments “be­cause we have an obli­ga­tion to speak out when some­thing is wrong.” He cited the agency’s core val­ues — among them in­tegrity, ac­count­abil­ity and re­spect and com­pas­sion. “This is how we con­duct our­selves. This is how we treat those whom we en­counter in our work: vic­tims, wit­nesses, sub­jects, and de­fen­dants. This is who we are,” he wrote.

The email, sent Satur­day, was first re­ported by The Wall Street Jour­nal.

The White House has said Trump was jok­ing when he told law en­force­ment of­fi­cers in New York last week that they should not “be too nice” with sus­pects.

“Like when you guys put some­body in the car and you’re pro­tect­ing their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” Trump said be­fore mim­ing the mo­tion of an of­fi­cer shield­ing a sus­pect’s head to keep it from bump­ing against the squad car. “Like, don’t hit their head, and they just killed some­body — don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, OK?”

Trump’s com­ments have been widely crit­i­cized by polic­ing lead­ers, but Rosen­berg’s mes­sage marks the first push­back from a fed­eral law en­force­ment agency.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions did not ad­dress the pres­i­dent’s com­ments ex­plic­itly in a pub­lic speech Tues­day to the Na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Black Law En­force­ment Ex­ec­u­tives, although he told the group’s lead­ers af­ter­ward that he felt the pres­i­dent was mak­ing a joke.

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