Speed Reads

police brutality

Police, civil liberties advocates reject Trump's push for 'rough' treatment of suspects

President Trump spoke to a group of police officers on Long Island, New York, Friday, sparking controversy for his encouragement of physically aggressive policing tactics.

"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. "Like when you guys 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?"

Trump's comments were met with laughter from his law enforcement audience, but quickly came under broad criticism for their apparent endorsement of police brutality. "Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect," said a statement from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. "This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy."

Some individual police departments also issued statements rejecting Trump's advice, as did civil liberties advocates. "Trump's endorsement of police brutality will make it much harder to prevent unlawful police killings and end the culture of impunity," tweeted Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU's Human Rights Program.

Watch Trump's comments below. Bonnie Kristian