Looks Like a Lot of Cops Love Trump's Endorsement of Police Brutality
Police chiefs across the country blasted Trump for a speech that appeared to encourage excessive force. Denizens of online police forums feel a bit differently.
When Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president almost exactly a year ago, he was tepidly praised for his ability to read off a teleprompter. Although the speech was angry, a little scary, and based almost entirely around the theme of "law and order," the then-candidate at least managed to stay on script. But now that he's the most powerful person in the world, it's a safe bet that an outrage cycle will ensue pretty much any time the man is presented with a microphone. And given Trump couldn't help but rant at literal boy scouts in West Virginia earlier this month, what chance did the native New Yorker have of not crossing any lines in a room full of Long Island cops last week?
Trump was in Brentwood, New York, on Friday to show support for the Suffolk County Police Department, which has been beleaguered by its fight against members of a murderous Central American gang called MS-13. Of course, the same department has also been haunted by its own legacy of corruption and brutality—former County Police Chief James Burke was sentenced to over three years in prison last fall for beating a suspect who stole his bag of sex toys. In what was apparently an attempt to raise morale, the president repeatedly called MS-13 members "animals." While obviously dehumanizing, this alone probably wouldn't have raised any red flags. However, in characteristically rambling fashion, the president also appeared to endorse police brutality, urging the officers to be "rough" and possibly inflict head trauma when putting suspects into squad cars.
"Please," he urged as some of the officers behind him laughed, "don't be too nice."
Over the weekend, prominent cops across America condemned the president's remarks as dangerous and counterproductive at a time when people of color remain uniquely vulnerable to (often lethal) police violence. Activists—as well as one Florida police spokesman whose response went viral—feared that decades of police reform were being undermined, while Blue Lives Matter types rolled their eyes over what they said was clearly a joke. But what about rank-and-file officers?
To find out, I combed online police forums. Although the most prominent digital cop hangout went defunct after a major security breach earlier this year, there's still Officer.com, as well as r/ProtectAndServe, a subreddit where users post their job titles and are warned that impersonating a cop is a crime. Both sites have registration requirements for posting, though as is always the case with anonymous forums, the identities of users could not be independently verified. Even so, the responses—which, to be fair, included a healthy dose of outrage—paint a dark picture of policing in America.
Here's a sampling of the reactions to Trump's latest pro-cop tirade.
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Maybe it was just nice to hear someone state the obvious: these thugs are scum and don't belong in civilized nations nor should be coddled, like under Obama. Maybe law abiding citizens are sick and tired of all the rights given to rapists, murderers, pimps, thugs, and General ****tards.
I am. Good for POTUS.
When I started, judges were instructed at the first sign of trouble to leave the bench. That way the Court Officers could handle the defendant correctly. After we were done the Correction Officers would add their lesson. For the rest of his case, the defendant would be a model, if somewhat battered, citizen. Today, hands on practices are practically unheard of, for fear of offending some group.
America is a bunch of pussies. That's right I said it. As a whole we are soft and offended by everything
I could really argue both sides to this issue. I agree with alot of ya'll saying how everyone these days is a bunch of whiny babies. Although I typically treat people how I would want to be treated. BUT if someone tries to get physical, its a whole other ball game. If ya'll cant already tell by my username, Im NOT a big person. And for that reason I will do WHATEVER it takes to make sure Im able to live to see tomorrow.
I am thankful for citizens who back the badge. But their opinion doesn't affect my common sense and procedures. I roll my eyes at citizens who second-guess my every move. Their opinion doesn't affect my common sense and procedures. See how that works? I understand why people don't like bad cops. I don't like them either. Bad cops make my job harder.
I'm not going to bounce someone's head off the roof, door, hood or trunk of my car while they are in custody. Plain and simple. If they are the scum of the earth, they will get theirs eventually. I don't want their residual scum left somewhere on my car. And in the age of bodycams, cell phone cameras and (tinfoil hat in place) Big Brother watching via satellite, an excessive force conviction isn't something I can afford. Plus, beating a cuffed perp just isn't sportsmanlike.
I agree about the main point, that police shouldn't routinely slam heads while stuffing non-tried suspects into their patrol cars. However, I don't give one-eighth of a moldy turd if some sorry POS who beat and raped a 10-year-old accidentally bumps the column/roof at full velocity a few times on his way in, kisses the protective cage during a dozen brake-checks at 60 mph (sorry, Iowa; I know you were unfairly jammed up over that false allegation!), or if a careless officer accidentally parks alongside a cliff with a 200-foot drop off outside the rear door.
This does not help us. At all. This will only serve to rile people up against legitimate uses of force. Trump is a fucking moron.
I was wondering if I was the only one that saw a bunch of people politely laughing for the guy because he's the president.
So here's the deal. If you invite Trump to speak at your organization, he's going to say at least one shitty thing. It's the presidential way. So if you invite him and put a crowd around him, that crowd will find themselves applauding something like Trump talking about yacht orgies to boy scouts. It's just inevitable, and you'll have to be ready for the PR backlash when your people are clapping and the president of the US randomly announces a new program to help boy scouts become PUAs, because it occurs to him.
In the end, you don't get to be shocked if you invite the president to speak and he goes ape-shit crazy. It is a known probable outcome.
There are some very isolated and some very few instances of true police corruption and brutality in the US police forces. No one is saying there isn't. I think that with respect to what Trump was trying to convey, he was talking to a group of people who are routinely shot at and assaulted by one of the most notorious gangs in the world and attempting to put very crude humor in to the mix to appeal to them. I don't think anyone found it funny though but I also don't think it's something that is a big a deal as people are making it out to be, and I'm not even a Trump supporter by any stretch of the imagination. It really doesn't matter what the guy says at this point. Anything he says is gonna be taken out of context and someone is going to be offended by it.
I think most cops take it as poor taste in humor. Of course were not taking it as carte blanche to exercise misconduct or misuse of force during arrest procedures. And I seriously doubt, hard as it is to believe, that President Trump wants cops to start roughing up arrestees for no reason all across the nation.
As I mentioned in another comment, This is Trump trying to "fit in", trying to use inappropriate humor to get people to feel chummy towards him.
MAGA 2020 bitches!
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