It appears as if Donald Trump wants more bullies on the playground. During a speech to the graduating class of law enforcement officials at Suffolk Community College in Long Island, the US president encouraged them to be more aggressive towards suspected criminals and not worry about being "too nice".
While most of his speech focused on efforts to eradicate Mara Salvatrucha, or the MS-13 criminal gang, Trump went on to assure the police that his administration would not prevent them from using force to control law-breakers.
"You're saving American lives every day, and we have your backs," he said to a loud round of applause. "We have your backs 100%. Not like the old days. When you wanted to take over and you used military equipment — and they were saying you couldn't do it — you know what I said? That was my first day: You can do it."
Despite widespread protests over the rough handling of suspects and brutal treatment in prisons, the president called on officials to get tough. "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.
"Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody — don't hit their head. You can take the hand away."
Trump also promised to revise the current laws to put more focus on defending the police. "The laws are so horrendously stacked against us, because for years and years they've been made to protect the criminals, not the officers," he said. "If you do something wrong, you're in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you. We're changing those laws."
Despite receiving cheers and applause from the audience, Trump's message did not go down well with certain police departments that took to Twitter to stress that they did not agree with the president's comments and would continue to adhere to the rules and regulations.
Others on Twitter shamed the Potus for encouraging tensions between the police and civilians.