Talking tough on illegal immigration and violent crime, President Trump appeared Friday to advocate rougher treatment of people in police custody, speaking dismissively of arresting officers who protect the heads of handcuffed suspects while putting them in patrol cars, the AP reports. "Don't be too nice," Trump said while visiting Suffolk County, New York, to highlight administration efforts to crack down on the street gang known as MS-13. 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 US "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.'" Trump then spoke dismissively of the practice by which arresting officers shield the heads of handcuffed suspects as they are placed in police cars. "I said, 'You could take the hand away, OK,'" he said. The audience included federal and law enforcement personnel from the New York-New Jersey area, some of whom applauded Trump's remarks. Trump's comments resurrected memories of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who was shackled but alive when he was put in a Baltimore police van in 2015. Gray left the vehicle with severe neck injuries, and his subsequent death spawned rioting.