Friday, July 28, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He told an audience of police officers to be "rough" with people they arrest.

In a speech in front of Long Island law enforcement officers, Trump said he approved of them being "rough" with the "animals" police encountered. He mocked the practice of guiding arrestees' heads as they were put into police cars, and told them not to "be too nice." He also told a story about an supposed (unnamed) Chicago police officer, a "rough cookie" who came to him wanting permission to "straighten out" the "bad ones" behind that city's crime.

The speech took place in Suffolk County on Long Island. That county's police department immediately pushed back on Twitter: "The SCPD has strict rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners. Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously. ...As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners." The International Association of Chiefs of Police also put out a statement calling the treatment of individuals with "dignity and respect" a "bedrock principle" of policing.

This is the second day in a row that the hosts of a Trump speech have been forced to do damage control over his remarks. The Boy Scouts of America issued an apology yesterday for Trump's injection of partisan political attacks into what was supposed to be a celebration of scouting.

Why does this matter?

  • A president who sneers at the law cannot be trusted to enforce or obey the law.
  • If the Boy Scouts and police departments are subtweeting you, you've probably done something bad.