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DEA Chief Blasts Trump For Asking Officers To Rough Up Thugs

The chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration took issue with one of Donald Trump's recent statements. The DEA will not start physically abusing suspects, despite President Trump’s suggestion that agents should be more “rough,” according to the agency’s acting administrator.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump told a crowd in Long Island, N.Y., on Friday that the government is targeting members of the notorious MS-13 gang, which originated in El Salvador and has spread to U.S. cities. The president went on to encourage DEA officers to act violently. “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,” he 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 — don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, OK?”

The DEA’s Chuck Rosenberg sent a memo to his employees on Saturday in response to Trump’s statement. He declared that no “special agent or task-force officer of the DEA would mistreat a defendant.” The administrator explained: “The president, in remarks delivered yesterday in New York, condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by law enforcement. … I write to offer a strong reaffirmation of the operating principles to which we, as law-enforcement professionals, adhere. I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong. That’s what law-enforcement officers do. That’s what you do. We fix stuff. At least, we try.”

According to The Washington Post, Rosenberg claimed the DEA is committed to integrity, accountability, respect, compassion and other values. “This is how we conduct ourselves,” he said. “This is how we treat those whom we encounter in our work: victims, witnesses, subjects and defendants. This is who we are. The administrator stressed that he was not pushing a “political, partisan or personal agenda.”

The Hill noted that a number of police departments and law-enforcement officers’ organizations also rejected Trump’s proposal. Many of them said the president was trying to authorize police brutality and the use of excessive force. The Suffolk County Police Department told its Twitter followers: “The SCPD has strict rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners. Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously. As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.”

The Post reported that on Monday, an administration official said Trump was joking when he called for rougher treatment of alleged criminals. DEA spokeswoman Katherine Pfaff told the newspaper: “The DEA circulated an internal email that focused on our core values and standards as a law-enforcement agency. Nothing’s changed. There was no formal guidance. (The email) focused on our core values. That was the message that was being sent. That is something that’s sent out periodically. It’s not unusual for our leadership to reaffirm our values and our core standards. That’s something we’re committed to at the DEA.”

Source: The Hill
Photo: YouTube

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