DEA Administrator Condemns Donald Trump’s Statement Promoting Police Brutality

This blog has been around for over a decade and I believe that this a first. I am posting to praise something said by the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg wrote an email objecting to Donald Trump’s recent statement which promoted police brutality: “When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon—you just see them thrown in, rough—I said, please don’t be too nice.” The Wall Street Journal reported on Rosenberg’s response:

Mr. Rosenberg wrote that although he is certain no “special agent or task force officer of the DEA would mistreat a defendant,” Mr. Trump’s comments required a response…

“I write to offer a strong reaffirmation of the operating principles to which we, as law enforcement professionals, adhere,” the memo says. “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.”

The Wall Street Journal also reported on another objection to Trump’s statement from New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill:

“To suggest that police officers apply any standard in the use of force other than what is reasonable and necessary is irresponsible, unprofessional and sends the wrong message to law enforcement as well as the public.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders subsequently claimed that Trump was only joking, but even if this is true, his remarks were inexcusable. The Washington Post reports on the reaction:

Even as the White House has argued that Trump was not being serious, police officials publicly and privately expressed dismay about his comments, saying that his remarks were dangerous, given the current climate of distrust between communities and the officers patrolling them.

“There are some things that don’t have much humor, particularly in the environment we have today,” said Darrel Stephens, a former Charlotte police chief and now executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “Even if it’s an attempt at humor, it sends the wrong message.”

We must keep in mind that Donald Trump and members of his administration are under investigation, and one day they just might be placed under arrest.

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