The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) issued a statement on police use of force Friday, following a speech from President Donald Trump in which he was accused of encouraging violence.
While speaking about violent gang-members in a speech to law enforcement officers that focused on MS-13, Trump said police shouldn’t be “too nice” when handling violent criminals. In the wake of the speech, media framed Trump has having endorsed police brutality.
“Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect,” the IACP statement read. “This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy.”
President urges officers to commit acts of brutality, officers laugh and cheer wildly. Beginning to think problem isn’t a few bad apples. pic.twitter.com/o1sSgw6lGy
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) July 28, 2017
“Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put the 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, OK,” Trump said.
The IACP wrote that the use of force is one of the most difficult parts of policing, but also added that law enforcement has policies in place to “ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers.”
Many in conservative media pushed back against the idea that Trump had endorsed violence, claiming he merely told officers not to go out of their way to make suspects comfortable.
“This is all exaggeration,” Commentator Ben Shapiro wrote. “Is it appropriate for Trump to encourage police not to be ‘too nice’ to suspects? Not really. But it’s not police brutality to refrain from putting your hand on the head of a suspect to prevent them from bumping it on a car door. It’s police brutality if you slam their head into the car door.”
He told readers to “watch the tape yourself, rather than reading the headlines blared by an aggressively antipathy-laden media.”
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