Arrogance by police often mirrors the stance of individuals above the cops.
I was in Manhattan two decades ago to give a lecture. A squad car with flashing lights was suddenly behind me. I pulled to the curb and got out of my car. My attire included a classic Brooks Brothers blue blazer and my auto had an NYP plate which in New York State signifies my being a working journalist.
Nevertheless, the two officers leaped from their squad car and pointed guns at me. I asked what the problem was. I was told one of my brake lights was out.
Later, I saw a group of police nearby, a sergeant among them, and discussed what had transpired and whether the use of guns was necessary. The sergeant explained: "It's Giuliani time!" referring to then New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
I've long wondered what would have happened if I were black.
For almost four terrible years now, the person whom Giuliani has served as his personal lawyer, Donald Trump, has been president of the United States.
As demonstrations continue being held in the U.S. to protest the killing by a policeman in Minneapolis of yet another unarmed African-American, George Floyd, and police brutality and police racism in general, Trump's involvement in inciting police violence needs to be fully recognized.
I live on Long Island, New York where Trump visited in 2017 and addressing an auditorium full of police, encouraged them to be more violent in handling prisoners.
Trump to officers: 'Please don't be too nice' with arrestees During a speech to law enforcement on July 28, President Trump said .please don't be too nice. to suspects who are arrested. Subscribe to The Washington ...
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"Please don't be too nice," he told the audience in Brentwood, a largely Latino community where my family once lived. He spoke of the precautions typically taken when police place a hand on an arrestee's head while they're being put in a police car to protect them. "When you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head you know, the way you put their hand over [their head]," Trump said, mimicking the motion"."You can take the hand away, OK?' https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-police-nice-suspects/story?id=48914504
Trump went on: "I have to tell you, you know, the laws are so horrendously stacked against us, because for years and years, they've been made to protect the criminal. Totally made to protect the criminal. Not the officers. You do something wrong, you're in more jeopardy than they are."
He praised the roughness of agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "They're rough guys, they're rough."
The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement declaring: "By encouraging police to dole out extra pain at will, the president is urging a kind of lawlessness that already imperils the health and lives of people of color at shameful rates." Written by Jeffery Robinson, deputy legal director at of the ACLU and director of its Trone Center for Justice and Equality, it continued: "Innocent until proven guilty? Our president would rather not bother with that, expanding the role of the police officer to include judge, jury, and executioner. This country is weary of the type of policing that Trump espouses."
The Suffolk County Police Department, the main police force in the county in which Trump spoke, issued two tweets following Trump's speech. One said: "The SCPD has strict rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners. Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously." A subsequent one said: "As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners."
But when Trump came to Minneapolis last year and spoke on "issues of law and order," this was not the perspective of Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation. At a rally, Trump declared: "I've been good to law enforcement. I love the cops. The respect that we have for law enforcement is unbounded." https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-police-nice-suspects/story?id=48914504
And Lt. Krollwearing a red "Cops for Trump" T-shirtthen took the stage with Trump and slammed former President Barack Obama's "handcuffing and oppression of police" and praised Trump. Said Kroll: "The first thing President Trump did when he took office was turn that around " he decided to start to let cops do their job." Kroll closed by declaring: ""Debate the facts with the left. And when their facts don't hold up for their debate, wait to be called a racist. That's the easy way out, right?" "Cops for Trump' T-shirts were sold at the rally.
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