The Rev. Al Sharpton on Saturday accused President Donald Trump of “encouraging police violence” during a speech this week on Long Island to an audience of uniformed officers.
On Sunday,the anti-Trumper criticized President Donald Trump’s speech in Long Island, New York for using “ethnic slurs” to advocate tougher treatment of MS-13 gang members who are in police custody.
Sharpton played a clip of Trump saying, “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. Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put your 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?”
Sharpton said, “So when we go from Rodney King being beat by police to all the way to Freddie Gray who was killed by police in a rough ride in Baltimore some of the studies show — ‘don’t be too nice? Be rough?’ And, oh, by the way, President Trump, paddy wagon? An Ethnic slur. Paddy wagon, An anti-Irish ethnic slur. So let me get this right, you’re not sitting up in Trump Tower arguing with me in the office anymore, you are in the White House making ethnic slurs to tell the police to be more rough, violate more of people’s human civil rights, violate the law. It’s against the law, Mr. President. It’s against the law for police to mishandle people that they are arresting. It’s against the law to go beyond the presumption of innocence, and it’s against decency to use ethnic slurs. We’ve all used them, and we have all corrected them. I thought as president you would at least know better than to repeat them.”
Suffolk County Police Department also released a statement after Trump’s speech that it has strict rules and procedures about how prisoners should be handled. “Violations of those rules and procedures are treated extremely seriously. As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.”
James Burke, the department’s former chief, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison last November for beating a handcuffed man in an interrogation room.