New York Police Department recruits salute during the NYPD graduation ceremony at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 29, 2015. (Photo: Andrew Burton via Getty Images)
The New York Police Department released a statement on Saturday reiterating their use of force policies after President
Donald Trump suggested police officers be more rough with their suspects during a Friday speech to invited law enforcement officers.
In a statement emailed to HuffPost, the NYPD called suggestions for police officers to use alternative standards for use of force “irresponsible” and “unprofessional.”
“The NYPD’s training and policies relating to the use of force only allow for measures that are reasonable and necessary under any circumstances, including the arrest and transportation of prisoners,” a spokesman for NYPD said.
“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.”
While speaking about the
administration’s efforts to take on international gangs to law enforcement officers at the Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York, Trump joked that officers should be rougher with suspects and suggested letting them hit their heads on police cars.
“When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,’” Trump said.
“Like 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’ve just killed somebody,” he added. “Don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”
His remarks elicited cheers from the audience of law enforcement, which included
local lawmakers, officers from the Suffolk County Police Department, the Nassau County Police Department acting police commissioner Patrick Ryder, Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco and deputies and jail guards from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office, according to Newsday reporter Nicole Fuller.
A NYPD spokesman told HuffPost that no one in their department attended Trump’s speech on Friday.
HuffPost reached out to the White House for further clarification on who was invited and who attended the speech.
President Donald Trump delivers remarks about his proposed U.S. government effort against the street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, to a gathering of federal, state and local law enforcement officials in Brentwood, New York on July 28. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
NYPD joins a growing number of law enforcement agencies, officers and organizations that have denounced the president’s remarks on Friday, including the Suffolk County Police Department, which reportedly
had over 100 officers who attended Trump’s speech.
Phillip Atiba Goff, the founder of the New York-based
Center for Policing Equity, said in a statement issued Friday evening that Trump’s speech was “dangerous,” dehumanizing and “implied a disrespect for the rule of law.” Goff also said that he has spoken to police chiefs and officers who are “disgusted” by “the president’s statements ― and the applause” it received.
“Unchecked police force is not tough. It is not ‘manly’ and it does not reduce crime,” Goff said in the statement emailed to HuffPost. “What it does accomplish is to make crime victims less likely to call 911 for help because they fear how police will treat them.”
Goff added that Trump’s Friday remarks were dangerous because it would make even bystanders less likely to report violent crimes for fear of violent treatment from police. Goff also said that excessive force could endanger other officers.
“Punitive force by any member of law enforcement is potentially a precursor to violence against the next officer encountering that individual,” Goff said. “Excessive force dehumanizes all involved, both police and public.”
Similar to NYPD’s statement, the International Association of Police Chiefs on Friday
defended strict use of force policies that require officers to treat all individuals “with dignity and respect,” calling it “the bedrock principle” behind police legitimacy.
The Suffolk County Police Department in New York and the Gainesville Police Department also tweeted in response to Trump’s speech on Friday. Suffolk County police said their department will not tolerate “roughing up of prisoners,” while the Gainesville police rejected Trump’s speech which they said “endorsed and condoned police brutality.”
Police brutality has been a focal point of public concern in recent years. The case of Eric Garner, who was held in a fatal chokehold by an NYPD officer, gained
national attention and inspired a wave of protests. Also on HuffPost Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today. Tanisha Anderson: Died Nov. 13, 2014, age 37, Cleveland Over a year after Tanisha Anderson lost her life in an incident with Cleveland police officers, her family is still waiting for answers. The 37-year-old died after her mother called 911 while Anderson was having a " mental health episode," as described in the family's subsequent lawsuit against city police. Officials say that when officers tried to take Anderson to a treatment facility, she struggled and then went limp. Her family says police slammed her to the ground and put a knee in her back. A medical examiner ruled Anderson’s death a homicide, the result of being " physically restrained in a prone position by Cleveland police." Her heart condition and bipolar disorder were also considered factors. The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department began investigating the incident in July at the request of the prosecutor’s office. In a wrongful death lawsuit, Anderson's family alleges that CPD Officers Scott Aldridge and Bryan Myers did not provide medical attention to Anderson as she lay on the ground unconscious. Aldridge had previously been suspended for violating the department's use-of-force policies, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group, and was disciplined in 2012 for his role in the deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell (see slide #6 in this collection). Aldridge and Myers deny that they caused Anderson’s death and have asked for the case to be dismissed. The month after Anderson was killed, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice concluded that Cleveland police have a pattern of using excessive force, including against people who are mentally ill, and that they don’t use appropriate techniques to account for mental illness. Mauvion Green, Anderson’s daughter, told Northeast Ohio Media Group last year that she wants to work for conscientious treatment of people with mental illnesses. "I'm fighting for my mother, but I'm fighting for everyone else, too," Green said. Yvette Smith: Died Feb. 16, 2014, age 47, Bastrop, Texas Yvette Smith was fatally shot when Bastrop County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Willis responded to a 911 call about a fight between several men at a residence, according to KXAN. At the scene, authorities say, Willis ordered Smith to come out of the house, then shot her twice when she did so. An initial statement claiming that Smith was armed was later retracted by police officials. Willis was fired, and his record came under scrutiny. An evaluation from a past employer said that he needed “more development in handling explosive situations" and "utilization of common sense." Following a grand jury indictment for murder, Willis was tried in September. A mistrial was declared when the jury deadlocked 8-4 in favor of finding Willis guilty. The prosecutor on the case told KXAN the prosecution would retry the case and wouldn’t consider a lesser charge. Smith’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2014. "A part of me is gone, you know, and I wish I could have that back, but I can't," Yvonne Williams, Smith’s twin sister, told KVUE last year. "I just want justice for her." Miriam Carey: Died Oct. 3, 2013, age 34, Washington, D.C. U.S. Secret Service and Capitol Police officers fatally shot Miriam Carey in a car chase after she drove her car into a security checkpoint near the White House despite orders to stop. Officers fired multiple shots at Carey, a dental hygienist from Connecticut, hitting her five times. Her 1-year-old daughter, who was also in the car, survived. An autopsy found that Carey was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, her family's attorney said, and no weapons were found in her car. She had previously been diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis. Federal prosecutors said in 2014 that they would not file charges against the officers. Carey’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. “ The emphasis shouldn’t be on why [Miriam was in Washington, D.C.]," sister Valarie Carey told The Washington Post last year. "The emphasis should be [on] what those officers did. Were their actions proper?” Shelly Frey: Died Dec. 6, 2012, age 27, Houston Shelly Frey was killed after she and two other women were allegedly caught stealing from a Walmart in 2012, the Houston Chronicle reports. Louis Campbell, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy working as a security guard, tried to detain them and then shot into a car in which Frey was a passenger. She was struck twice in the neck. Campbell reportedly told investigators that he opened fire after the driver of the car tried to run him over. Two other women and two children were in the car with Frey. When paramedics arrived, they were unable to revive her. Frey had previously pleaded guilty to stealing shirts and meat from Walmart, according to Houston's KHOU, and was prohibited from entering the store. Her family sued Walmart for wrongful death. Campbell has not faced any charges. Malissa Williams: Died Nov. 29, 2012, age 30, Cleveland Malissa Williams was a passenger in a car driven by a man named Timothy Russell when a police officer thought he heard shots fired from the vehicle and began following them, according to the Associated Press. A 25-minute chase through Cleveland ended with 13 officers firing 137 rounds at the car, which police eventually cornered in a school parking lot. Twenty-three bullets struck Russell, and 24 hit Williams. They were both killed. Williams and Russell, who both had criminal records, were unarmed. Six officers were indicted in the car chase. Officer Michael Brelo was charged with manslaughter, and five supervisors were charged with dereliction of duty. Brelo -- who allegedly fired 49 shots at the vehicle, 15 of them from atop the hood of the car itself -- was tried earlier this year and found not guilty on all charges, including two counts of voluntary manslaughter, attempted voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault. "They did not deserve to die for fleeing and eluding," Michelle Russell, Timothy's sister, told Northeast Ohio Media Group. Five police supervisors are awaiting trial on charges of dereliction of duty. The city settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the victims' families for $3 million in 2014. "This shooting is one of the worst examples of police misconduct in American history,'' attorneys for Williams' and Russell's families said at the time. "This settlement sends the clearest signal yet that real reform must be achieved inside the Cleveland Police Department." Shantel Davis: Died June 14, 2012, age 23, New York City Shantel Davis was fatally shot while driving a car that police claim was stolen. Plainclothes NYPD officers approached her after she allegedly ran multiple red lights and the vehicle crashed. Police say that Davis tried to escape, and that Phil Atkins, a narcotics officer, allegedly tried to shift her car into park as it was moving. His gun fired once, striking Davis in the chest. Davis' family and several groups advocating for police reform have disputed the NYPD's version of events, saying it's not clear whether the car was stolen and, if it was, whether Davis was aware of that. They also claim Davis was trapped behind her airbag when she was shot, not trying to flee the vehicle. Davis had been arrested eight times previously, but she was never convicted of any crimes. She was due in court the day after her death for kidnapping and attempted murder charges, according to The New York Times. She was unarmed when she was shot. Atkins had been sued seven times over the previous decade for various allegations, including undue use of force, according to DNAinfo. "It’s been almost four years since Shantel’s murder and I still have no answers," Natasha Duncan, Davis' sister, told The Huffington Post in May 2016. "This whole time my family has heard nothing about either the criminal or departmental investigation. My sister’s case has been sitting on District Attorney [Ken] Thompson’s desk since he took office. He ran on a promise of being tough on police brutality, but he’s done absolutely nothing to move my sister’s case forward." Thompson's office says an investigation into Davis' case is underway and her family should receive the findings soon. “We are conducting a fair and thorough review of this case to ensure that all investigative avenues and evidence has been explored," a spokeswoman for Thompson's office told HuffPost. "We expect the investigation to be concluded soon and will inform the family of our findings at that time." This article has been updated to reflect statements from Davis' sister, Thompson's office and a representative of Davis' family, and to clarify that the NYPD's version of events is disputed. Rekia Boyd: Died March 22, 2012, age 22, Chicago Rekia Boyd was unarmed when she was shot in the back of the head by Dante Servin, a Chicago police detective who was off-duty at the time. Servin was driving near his home late at night when he saw a group of four people walking. He had a brief conversation with them from his car, then turned the wrong way down a one-way street. According to the Chicago Tribune, he said he then looked over his shoulder and thought he saw a man from the group pull a gun from his pants and point it at him. Servin fired five rounds over his left shoulder through his car window, striking the man in the hand and Boyd in the back of the head. The man whom Servin believed to have a gun was actually holding a cell phone. Boyd was taken to a hospital and died the next day. In 2013, Servin was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct. His trial began in April 2015, but was quickly dismissed by the judge. In November, the police department began the process of firing Servin, which requires a hearing before the Chicago Police Board. As of December, the board has not yet reached a decision. The city awarded Boyd’s family $4.5 million as part of a wrongful death settlement. “ My mother holds a lot inside but she’s hurting, especially when she hears about police violence," Martinez Sutton, Boyd’s brother, told The Chicago Citizen newspaper. Shereese Francis: Died March 15, 2012, age 29, New York City Shereese Francis was killed after family members called authorities seeking help because Francis, who had schizophrenia, had not been taking her medication and appeared to need medical attention. She'd refused to go to a hospital voluntarily. When NYPD officers arrived, the family’s wrongful death lawsuit alleges, Francis did not realize they were police, due to her mental illness. When Francis, who was unarmed, tried to leave the room against police orders, they allegedly pursued her, grabbed her and “tackled” her on a bed. The suit claims four officers put their weight onto Francis’ back while trying to cuff her, and her sister believes she saw them hitting and using a Taser on Francis until she stopped moving. Francis was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after the incident. Her cause of death was "compression of trunk during agitated violent behavior (schizophrenia) while prone on bed and attempted restraint by police officers,” according to The Village Voice. The lawsuit said the officers overwhelmingly violated NYPD policies on mental illness, in part because the department had failed to provide training on the subject. The city settled with Francis’ family for $1.1 million. Aiyana Stanley-Jones: Died May 16, 2010, age 7, Detroit Aiyana Stanley-Jones was sleeping on her couch with her grandmother when police conducted a "no knock" raid of their home. Officer Joseph Weekley was first through the door, and after a flash-bang grenade went off, he fired his gun, killing Aiyana. Weekley later testified that the grandmother struck his weapon and caused him to fire, but she denies having been near the gun. Police said the raid was in search of a murder suspect who lived in the second-floor unit of the home. Weekley was charged with involuntary manslaughter and careless discharge of a firearm causing death, but his case was dismissed after two mistrials. He returned to duty as a Detroit police officer in April. Tarika Wilson: Died Jan. 4, 2008, age 26, Lima, Ohio Tarika Wilson was killed when a Lima police SWAT team raided her rental home to arrest her boyfriend on drug charges, according to The New York Times. She had her youngest son, Sincere, in her arms when she was shot by Sgt. Joseph Chavalia. Sincere, who was 14 months old, was shot in the shoulder and hand but survived. Chavalia was acquitted of the misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and negligent assault. He testified that he felt his life was in danger when he shot Wilson, thinking he'd seen a shadow and heard gunshots nearby. The shots had actually come from officers downstairs, according to the Associated Press. The city settled a wrongful death suit with Wilson’s family for $2.5 million in 2011. Alberta Spruill: Died May 16, 2003, age 57, New York City Alberta Spruill also died after police conducted a "no knock" raid at her home in error. Officers broke through her door and threw a concussion grenade while Spruill, a city employee, was getting ready for work. She was briefly handcuffed but released when officers realized they were in the wrong place and that the information they'd been given -- that guns and drugs were being stored in the apartment -- was incorrect. Spruill died of a heart attack at a nearby hospital less than two hours later. The city of New York agreed to pay a $1.6 million settlement to Spruill’s family. “This case for them is not about money. It’s about changing procedure,” Johnnie Cochran, the lawyer for Spruill’s sisters, said in 2003. “It’s about the fact that their sister should not have died in vain.” Kendra James: Died May 5, 2003, age 21, Portland, Oregon Portland police Officer Scott McCollister fatally shot Kendra James during a traffic stop. When McCollister pulled over the car in which James was a passenger, he took the driver, Terry Jackson, into custody after seeing he had an outstanding warrant. James moved behind the wheel of the car and tried to drive away, and McCollister tried to stop her by climbing partway into the car and pulling her hair and using pepper spray and a Taser. James put the car into drive and McCollister shot her. He later claimed he'd gotten stuck in the car's doorway and that he'd feared for his life. A grand jury declined to prosecute. McCollister was initially suspended, but the disciplinary action was overturned by an arbitrator. “It’s been 10 years later, justice has still not [been] served,” James’ mother, Shirley Isadore, said at a 2013 rally marking the anniversary of her daughter’s death. This article originally appeared on HuffPost.