01 Aug 2017 Law Enforcement Professional Talks Trump Remark About Prisoner Transport
In an address to law enforcement officials last week that was largely about gang violence and illegal immigration, President Donald Trump provoked criticism for a comment he made about the treatment of those who have been arrested for more heinous alleged crimes.
At Suffolk County Community College, the President said: “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 just killed somebody – don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”
The line got some laughs at the time, but many police officials later felt they needed to speak up about it. They wanted to dispel any notion that they or the President endorse unwarranted violence or have strayed from a commitment to healthy community engagement.
Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II is a state constable in Pennsylvania. He also wants to add his thoughts as someone behind the badge and behind much of the Trump Agenda. He had this to say about the statement and the implications it has for him and other law enforcement professionals:
I’ve only ever noticed President Donald Trump voice and show support for the law enforcement community. As a law enforcement officer, I have been nothing but encouraged by his words and actions. With regard to his recent comments to that gathering of officers in New York, I believe his exuberance probably got the better of him.
Because of the nature of my job as a constable, I have probably put more people in the back of my vehicle than most other officers. I do it about 20 to 25 times a week. I tell each and every person to watch their head and knees as they climb into the back. It’s not a preference – it’s policy.
Despite what may have happened in the past, a compliant prisoner must be treated with the utmost care. Officers are literally responsible for the safety and welfare of prisoners in their care above everything else.
After the President’s remarks, my concern is that – while trying to show support for the blue – he has put us under yet another microscope.
His remarks will not change the way I do my job, nor how I treat anyone I have in my custody. I don’t think the President really believes we should act any different, and one off-hand remark should not be used to taint his past support and respect for law enforcement.