DEA Boss Repudiates Trump’s ‘Rough’ Advice for Cops

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The nation’s top narcotics officer repudiated President Trump’s remarks urging police to be rough with crime suspects, issuing a memo saying Drug Enforcement Administration agents must “always act honorably” by maintaining “the very highest standards” in the treatment of criminal suspects, reports the Wall Street Journal. Chuck Rosenberg, who as acting DEA chief works for the president, told agency personnel to disregard any suggestion that roughing up suspects would be tolerated. Rosenberg is a longtime Justice Department official who twice served as a U.S. attorney in the George W. Bush administration.

“I write to offer a strong reaffirmation of the operating principles to which we, as law enforcement professionals, adhere,” Rosenberg says in the memo, titled “Who We Are.” “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.” On Friday, Trump spoke to police officers in Long Island, N.Y., to commend their efforts against the MS-13 gang. Trump told them, “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.” His comments prompted laughter and applause from the police audience. Many police organizations have decried the remarks. The White House, which has said Trump was joking, declined to comment on the Rosenberg memo. See also: Was Trump’s Call for Tough Policing a Crime? 

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