Trump's audience, mostly police officers from the Suffolk County Police Department, cheered Trump's praise for police brutality.
Speaking to police and crime victims in Brentwood, Long Island on Friday, the Trump suggested that officers are too careful in their treatment of people in custody. "You could take the hand away".
The approval of a little extra violence drew applause from the officers gathered at the speech, but the Suffolk County Police Department as an organization (which recently had a police chief imprisoned for beating a suspect) disavowed the remarks. The department "has strict rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners", the post said.
Trump spoke dismissively of arresting officers who protect suspects' heads while putting them in police cars, saying "You can take the hand off".
Barbara Arnwine, president of the Transformative Justice Coalition, a Washington, DC-based civil liberties group, said Trump is "placing people's lives in danger" and his remarks will encourage "police departments to engage in unlawful, unconstitutional behavior".
"Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously", read a statement from the agency.
While quoting a tweet condemning Trump's language from Darrel Stephens, the executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Johnson added, "We will stand for the protection of the civil rights for ALL persons".
On Saturday, Matthew Tuohy, a criminal defense attorney in Suffolk County, said that while he believed the president's remarks were meant to be humorous, the reaction from the officers in the crowd "exemplifies the mind-set and today's culture" in law enforcement on Long Island.
Eric Kowalczyk, who served as the Baltimore Police Department's spokesman during the unrest that followed Gray's death, called the president's comments "very disturbing" and said they only further deteriorate tenuous relationships between police departments and minority communities across the country. "This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy". "No act of police violence or other misconduct, where proven, will go unanswered by the CCRB".
But it didn't stop in NY.
That was just a small portion of the President's speech.
"I can tell you, I saw some photos where [acting ICE Director] Tom [Homan]'s guys, rough guys, they're rough, I don't want to. say it because they'll say that's not politically correct, you're not allowed to have rough people doing this kind of work". 'Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody.