Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives that he thinks President Trump’s comments Friday where he urged police to be “rough” on arrested individuals were “done in jest” but “had the opportunity to impact or detract from” police/community relations.
“He understands our position that it absolutely does have an impact, particularly on the folks who we are trying to reach out to and build unified communities,” NOBLE President Perry Tarrant said Tuesday after a conversation with Sessions.
Sessions delivered a speech Tuesday at NOBLE’s annual training conference, where he promised the Justice Department will “hold any officer responsible who violates the law.”
“Just as I’m committed to defending law enforcement who lawfully have to use deadly force to defend themselves while engaged in their work, I will also use the powers of the office I’ve been entrusted with to hold any officer responsible who violates the law,” Sessions said.
Tuesday’s comments were the first public response to a speech given by the President last week.
“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,'” Trump said Friday to a group of Long Island Police officers.