Black Cops Respond to Trump: 'We Are Not Thugs'

DEA chief says president 'condoned police misconduct'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2017 6:21 AM CDT
Black Cops Respond to Trump: 'We Are Not Thugs'
Outgoing National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives President Perry Tarrant, left, greets Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a conference Tuesday in Atlanta.   (John Amis/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

"We are not thugs. We are professionals," says the leader of a black policing group, addressing a speech in which President Trump urged officers to not be "too nice" when arresting suspects. Perry Tarrant of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives met with AG Jeff Sessions on Tuesday to discuss Trump's comments, which he said could have "potential harm … in detracting from the legitimacy [of police], and detracting from the trust that local law enforcement and communities have," per the Los Angeles Times. Sessions said he would "hold any officer responsible [for] breaking the law," noting it took "one bad officer to destroy the reputations of so many" who "serve with honor and distinction," reports USA Today.

Tarrant isn't the only one with a grievance. In a Saturday memo, acting DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said he had "an obligation to speak out when something is wrong," then addressed how the president had "condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by law enforcement." Rosenberg encouraged agents to "earn and keep the public trust and continue to hold ourselves to the very highest standards." Trump has yet to elaborate on his comments made to law enforcement officers in Brentwood, NY, on Friday. At the time, he suggested officers need not shield suspects' heads when placing them in police cars. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday, per CNN, "It wasn't a directive, it was a joke." (More police stories.)

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