Trump just called for cops to rough up suspects more in front of a crowd of cops, they cheered pic.twitter.com/f2BMSX56hw
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) July 28, 2017
On Friday, President Donald Trump told cops that he’s A-okay with them roughing up suspects.
“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,” he continued, “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you are protecting their head, the way you put your hand [over their head]. Like, don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head. I said you could take the hand away.” Officers can be heard cheering him on as he urged the officers to bump (or maybe bash?) the suspects’ head.
Trump says that he’s okay with police being rougher on arrested suspects, such as hitting their head on police car. Crowd of police cheers.
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) July 28, 2017
Trump made the statement before law enforcement officers at Suffolk County Community College, in a speech blasting other presidents for being lax on immigration policy.
Professor Karen Pita Loor, who teaches at Boston University School of Law and has worked as a defense lawyer, said Trump’s statements Friday were troubling.
“I’m not sure that’s what his supporters meant by a law-and-order president,” she told LawNewz.com in a phone interview. “Law and order does not mean abuse of power.”
She voiced concern that people’s Fourth Amendment rights would be violated, and this could also reflect that Trump isn’t a president who looks after everybody’s rights amid racial tensions in the county. Loor said that, considering who is in charge, the public should question the validity of Justice Department investigations into police brutality and misconduct.
Professor Craig Futterman, who teaches at The University of Chicago Law School and has also worked as a defense lawyer, disliked what he saw.
“This is a President who has shown contempt for the Constitution of the United States,” he told LawNewz.com. “Is there any wonder why the Sessions’ Justice Department refuses to address patterns of civil rights violations by local police departments when the President of the United States advocates for police brutality? It is beyond frightening when the federal government not only refuses to enforce our nation’s most fundamental laws, but encourages police officers to break them.”
Trump has been sued for allegedly inciting violence during a March 1, 2016 campaign in Louisville, Kentucky. Plaintiffs, all anti-Trump protesters, said they got roughed up after he said “Get ’em out of here.” That case is working its way through the case court system, with his lawyers claiming that he’s protected under the First Amendment, and wasn’t inciting violence.
Update – July 28, 5:56 p.m. EST: We had added expert quotes from Professors Loor and Futterman.
[Screengrab via CNN]