Police departments have had to debunk parts of Donald Trump's law and order speech

Numerous statements in Trump's infamous speech have been discovered to have been inaccurate or misleading

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 31, 2017 8:58AM (EDT)

 (Getty/Branden Camp)
(Getty/Branden Camp)

President Donald Trump's Friday law and order speech on Long Island, which seemed to encourage police brutality, is being roundly condemned by many of the police leaders he was presumably hoping to impress.

In a statement, the Suffolk County Police Department — which represents the county where Trump delivered his speech — had to backtrack from what the president said cops should do.

"As a department, we do not and will not tolerate 'rough(ing)' up prisoners," the department said in a statement to CNN. Similarly, New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill said in a statement that 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."

"We work with partnerships in our community and continue to do that to keep our communities safe and secure from crime," the Los Angeles Police Department said. "With the help of our community we will continue to do this."

Even Jim Bueermann, the president of the nonprofit Police Foundation, denounced the remarks. "We cannot support any commentary — in sincerity or jest — that undermines the trust that our communities place in us to protect and serve," he said.

During his speech, Trump said, "When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon. You see them thrown in rough. I said, 'Please don't be too nice.' Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. I said, 'You can take the hand away, OK?'"

In addition to its inflammatory rhetoric, Trump's speech has also been criticized for its numerous factual errors. According to PolitiFact, this includes wrongly claiming that President Barack Obama had an open door policy for immigrants from Central America, that America has trade deficits "with almost every country," that he has always argued the Affordable Care Act should be allowed to implode and that Hillary Clinton wanted to confiscate Americans' guns.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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