President Donald Trump's remark that police shouldn't be "too nice" to prisoners was made in Suffolk County, where a chief went to prison for beating a suspect. And now the police department says it won't tolerate brutality toward prisoners.
Addressing a law enforcement audience Friday, Trump spoke dismissively of officers who protect the heads of handcuffed suspects while putting them in patrol cars.
"Don't be too nice," Trump said. He visited Suffolk County to highlight administration efforts to crack down on illegal immigration and violent crime, and in particular the street gang known as MS-13, which has terrorized communities on Long Island and in other parts of the country.
The president urged Congress to find money to pay for 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers "so that we can eliminate MS-13."
Trump said the administration is removing these gang members from the United States "but we'd like to get them out a lot faster and when you see ... these thugs being thrown into the back of the paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in rough, I said, 'Please don't be too nice.'"
Former Suffolk County police chief James Burke pleaded guilty last year to beating a handcuffed man being interrogated about the theft of sex toys and other personal items from Burke's SUV.
Hours after Trump's speech, the Suffolk County Police Department issued a statement saying it "will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners" and violations are taken "extremely seriously."