Mr. President, Roughing Up Suspects is Never OK!

Improving Police

“President Trump’s message to officers condoning unnecessary use of force is both dangerous and misinformed.”

President Trump speaking to a number of police officers at Suffolk County Community College in New York. [The following is an op-ed of mine from yesterday’s USA Today.]

If there is one thing that gets the goat of smart police officers, it’s someone trying to be helpful by telling them to “get tough!” It’s such a simple but not well thought out statement. In fact, it’s one that is terribly misinformed.

I still remember one of my instructors during my first days as a police recruit saying that if we start “getting tough” —punishing persons in our custody, forcing confessions and taking what’s not ours — we become part of the problem; we become no better than the bad guys we seek to catch. He gave another cautionary note that I never forgot during my…

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