The acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has told his agency’s employees to disregard President Trump’s suggestion that police treat suspects roughly, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
In a memo sent to agency personnel on Saturday, Chuck Rosenberg said that, while he did not believe any “special agent or task force officer of the DEA would mistreat a defendant,” he felt compelled to address the president’s statement, saying Trump “condoned police misconduct.”
“I write to offer a strong reaffirmation of the operating principles to which we, as law enforcement professionals, adhere,” the memo says, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong. That’s what law enforcement officers do. That’s what you do. We fix stuff. At least, we try.”
During a speech in Long Island, N.Y., on Friday, Trump encouraged law enforcement officers not to “be too nice” to the suspects they arrest.
“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,’” Trump told the audience at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.
“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?’” he added.
His remarks received a round of applause.
“For years and years, [laws have] been made to protect the criminal,” Trump said. “Totally protect the criminal, not the officers. You do something wrong, you’re in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you. We’re changing those laws.”