Is This the Most Shameful Thing Trump Has Ever Said?

This article first appeared on the Cato Institute site.

In a speech about criminal gangs before police officers on Long Island, New York on July 28, the President of the United States openly encouraged police officers to abuse people they arrest and take into custody.

Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star tweeted that President Trump explained that he didn't want officers to protect suspects' heads when putting them in police cars, saying "You can take the hand away," which drew the officers' loud approval.

Concurrent reporting from Asawin Suebsaeng of the Daily Beast confirmed that the call for police brutality drew "wild applause."

The president's comments are disgraceful and anathema to responsible policing and the Rule of Law.

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Donald Trump speaks at Suffolk Community College on July 28, 2017 in Brentwood, New York, to an audience of law enforcement officers and the family members of crime victims. Spencer Platt/Getty

Causing intentional injury to a handcuffed suspect is not only against police procedure, but is a federal crime for which police officers have been sent to prison.

What's worse, the reaction of the crowd of officers should strike fear into the heart of every parent on Long Island, particularly those of black and Hispanic young men, who fit the stereotypical description of the gang members President Trump described.

In the name of law and order, the president made a mockery of the Rule of Law in his call for illegal violence against presumptively innocent suspects.

It is a shameful day for the presidency and police agencies across the country should condemn the president's irresponsible and indefensible comments in the strongest possible terms.

Jonathan Blanks is a Research Associate in Cato's Project on Criminal Justice and Managing Editor of PoliceMisconduct.net.

Is This the Most Shameful Thing Trump Has Ever Said? | Opinion
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