In a rebuke to President Donald Trump, multiple police departments have condemned a Friday speech he made endorsing the rough treatment of suspected criminals and gang members.
During the anti-gang violence address in Brentwood, New York, a small hamlet on Long Island, Trump drew laughter and applause from the police officers present when he called for them to not be “too nice” to those they arrest, even urging them to hit their heads against squad cars.
The chilling remarks and appreciative response from the officers prompted the Suffolk County Police Department to issue an apology.
“The SCPD has strict rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners,” the department wrote on Twitter. “Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously.”
“As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners,” read a second tweet.
The police department in Gainesville, Florida issued an even harsher condemnation, claiming that the President “endorsed and condoned police brutality.”
“The @POTUS made remarks today that endorsed and condoned police brutality,” the department wrote in a Friday tweet. “GPD rejects these remarks and continues to serve with respect.”
The gang speech was just the President’s latest endorsement of physical violence against those detained by law enforcement. On the campaign trail, Trump often called for federal agents to use measures “worse than waterboarding,” or simulated drowning, against suspected terrorists.
These apologies also mark the second time in a week that an organization that invited the President to speak has had to contradict his message. After Trump discussed the 2016 election and complained about former President Obama during a Tuesday address at the annual Boy Scout Jamboree, the organization’s chief issued a statement lamenting that “politics were inserted” into the traditionally non-partisan event.
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