Police chiefs have rebuffed President Trump’s call to rough up suspects.
Officers can stop protecting suspects’ heads when they lower them into patrol cars, Mr Trump said during a speech to law enforcement officers, who clapped and laughed.
But dignity and respect are “the bedrock principle” behind “procedural justice and police legitimacy”, said the International Association of Chiefs of Police in a statement.
Issued just hours after his speech, the statement does not make reference to President Trump or his remarks.
“The ability of law enforcement officers to enforce the law, protect the public, and guard their own safety, the safety of innocent bystanders, and even those suspected or apprehended for criminal activity is very challenging” said the statement.
“For these reasons, law enforcement agencies develop policies and procedures, as well as conduct extensive training, to ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers.”
“Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect.”
“This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy.”
As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.
— Suffolk County PD (@SCPDHq) 28 July 2017
Mr Trump’s speech focused on measures to counter violence by a notorious street gang, MS-13.
Linking gang violence to immigrant communities, he repeated his administration’s commitment to speeding up deportations of illegal immigrants, enforcing immigration laws and building the wall on the Mexican border.
“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 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?’” he added.
The audience of law enforcement officers laughed and clapped.
“For years and years, [laws have] been made to protect the criminal,” Mr Trump said.
“Totally protect the criminal, not the officers. You do something wrong, you’re in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you. We’re changing those laws.”