Black Officers Refute Donald Trump’s Promotion Of Police Brutality: “We Are Not Thugs”
Once again, Donald Trump has managed to spew absurdities that perpetuate violence and discrimination. During a speech he gave on Friday (July 28) in Long Island, New York, Trump encouraged police officers to not shy away from being overly aggressive with criminals.
“Please don’t be too nice,” Trump brashly said. “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their 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?’”
His comments didn’t come without backlash. Leaders of a black policing group met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions to denounce the POTUS’ derogatory comments, HUFFPOST reports. Their conversation touched upon the divisive tactics that end up tarnishing the relationship between the police and minorities, which can create a deeper plight for officers of color.
“We are not thugs. We are professionals. We fully expect law enforcement around the country to behave as professionals,” explained Perry Tarrant, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).
However, it’s no surprise that the Trump administration has made another excuse for his unruly tongue. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday (July 31) that Trump was just making “a joke.”
“I think you guys are jumping and trying to make something out of nothing,” Sanders said the following day. “Trump was simply making a comment, making a joke, and it was nothing more than that.”
NOBLE held a meeting in Atlanta with Sessions in which he talked about maintaining balance and holding officers accountable for mistreating civilians. However, he didn’t address Trump’s comments. He made this speech to a sea of black officers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“We all know the cases of the last several years where, in confrontations with police, lives have been cut short,” Sessions said. “Just as I am committed to defending law enforcement who lawfully have to use deadly force to defend themselves … I will also use the powers of the office I’ve been entrusted with to hold any officer responsible who violates the law. You know that all it takes is one bad officer to destroy the reputations of so many.”