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Published On: Sun, Sep 17th, 2017

What Queens Law Enforcement Thinks About Trump’s Comments On The Handling Of Suspected Criminals

One of the campaign promises that Trump made was that he would restore law and order in America. His hiring of Jeff Sessions furthered his supporters’ belief that he would follow through and aid law enforcement in their endeavors to not only enforce immigration law, but to ensure that they had the tools to make arrests and to pursue those who had broken the law.

photo/ donkeyhotey

The comments that Trump recently made regarding the treatment of suspected criminals in Queens, however, has not made many in legal circles happy. Part of the return to law and order revolves around following the Constitution, the cornerstone of which is that anyone suspected of a crime should be presumed innocent until found guilty. Therefore, if you are convicted of a crime, that not only does not make you guilty of it, but you also have certain human rights to be treated with a standard and reasonable amount of care — which goes against what Trump said from the podium last week.

Trump is known for his bombastic style and free talking without a filter, but the comments he made while talking to law enforcement in New York last week has turned a lot of law enforcement officials off. His tongue-in-cheek comment about not being “too nice” when dealing with suspected criminals is not something that police officers around Queens felt was funny or appropriate. With law enforcement already viewed in a negative light in many communities, the last thing that law officials want is the suggestion that they aren’t treating suspected criminals the proper way.

Just like in any field or industry, you have those individuals who operate outside the confines of what is expected and appropriate when on the job. And Trump telling a group of New York law enforcement officials that it was okay to get rough with those they suspect of criminal acts, goes against the criminal laws set in place for the treatment of people in police custody.

The speech that Trump gave was in reference to New York’s fight against the highly sadistic M13, or La Mara Salvatrucha gang, that is wreaking havoc not just on New York streets but all across the nation. Part of a whole new breed of evil, individuals that belong to the M13 group are ruthless and have been accused of several murders in the Long Island area alone. Mr. Trump called for the New York Police Department to be aligned with more immigration officers and then went on to say to the crowd, “…and please don’t be too nice.”

In true Trump fashion, his suggestions that they might not want to protect a suspect’s head, too much when putting them in the police car was not something that many officers found humorous. Many officials and Queens criminal attorneys worry that his words can be misconstrued by those officers who are predisposed to be rough and go outside of their civic duty to assault people who are allegedly involved in criminal activity.

Those publicly stating their discord with Mr. Trump are the Police Foundation and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Contributing to the objections was New York’s Suffolk County Police Department, whose own spokespeople denounced his comments within two hours of its release to the media. Stating that they will not tolerate any rough acts against those in their custody, they wanted to make it clear that the handling of prisoners is something they take very seriously.

In Trump fashion, the president took to Twitter to respond to the many comments that came out chastising him for his statement. He insisted that it was just “a joke,” but not many law officials are laughing. When tensions are already running high between the police and many minority groups, what was said during his speech can not only be misinterpreted as encouragement to those officers who are already so inclined, but also may add fuel to groups like Black Lives Matter, who are already gunning for injustice in the law enforcement community.

It’s likely that Trump was only teasing, and there is no evidence that he was giving law officials license to go against a person’s criminal and civil rights. What he was doing was stating that it is time for America to get serious about immigration crimes and to stop those on the streets who are slaughtering Americans without using kid gloves. But sometimes words can take on a life of their own, and that is what law enforcement doesn’t want to see happen here.

Author: Ben Obirek

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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