In his speech today before police officers in Suffolk County, NY, President Trump bragged about the volume of military equipment being provided to police departments, joked about the violent handling of suspects, and used hateful and fear-mongering speech to vilify immigrants and their families.
Trump joked that the administration had given so much military equipment to police departments that “it’s disappearing so fast we have almost none left.” He encouraged officers to roughly handle suspects, including letting them bang their heads when putting them in police cars. And he implied that immigrants are “animals” and gang members bent on killing Americans.
“This inflammatory and hateful speech will only escalate tensions between police and communities and put both law enforcement and civilians at risk,” said Zeke Johnson, senior director of programs at Amnesty International USA. “Needlessly equipping officers in a manner more suited to a battlefield than Main Street automatically places them in a confrontational stance with the people they are sworn to protect. Police cannot treat every community like an invading army, and encouraging violence by police is irresponsible and reprehensible.”
“Far from being the root of violence, many people seeking asylum at the southern border are trying to escape the very same gangs that President Trump spoke of today. Everybody wants to live free from fear, but that can’t be done when our leaders vilify our families, neighbors and friends as criminals based solely on where they’re from. Today’s speech leaves everyone at risk.”