In Long Island Speech, Trump Encouraged Police Brutality
Addressing a crowd of law enforcement officials at Long Island University's Brentwood campus, Trump declared his appreciation for police brutality. On cue, the officers on stage behind the Trump laughed, cheered, and applauded.
"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. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and your checking their head. The way you put your hand over their head. Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. I said, you can take the hand away, okay."
Of the 100 or so officers on stage with Trump, none were officers of color. Considering Trump courted the support of the Klan and other white supremacists groups throughout the 2016 campaign, this decision to surround Trump on stage with only white officers may have been a covert way to keep favor with that hateful element of the Republican base.
Police officers in the U.S. are not in need of additional incentive to brutalize. Trump's declaration was as reprehensible as it was irresponsible. The central duty of the President is to enforce the law. With his dangerous Long Island, New York remarks in front of an auditorium full of law enforcement officials, Trump subverted the law. By implying that people suspected of committing a crime are undeserving of humanity, Trump (as head of the federal government) has promulgated terroristic behavior already rampant in many police communities.
When the chief executive says it's alright, it must be. At least, that will be the new mentality of any officer present at this function or any officer who watches the broadcast of it. This was a despicable display from an individual with no law enforcement background, fanning the flames of oppression because he and the privilege enjoyed by his inner circle have been insulated from violence perpetrated by police.