President Trump told police not to be nice to MS-13 gang members while to law enforcement officers on Long Island, New York, on Friday.
“When you see these towns, and 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.
He continued: “Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you’re protecting their head, you know? The way you put your hand — like, don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody? Don’t hit their head? I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK.'”
Some officers applauded the president’s words but many critics took to social media to accuse him of endorsing police brutality. The violent gang known as Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, originated decades ago among Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles, according to CNN.
The group has caused enough problems in Long Island that Trump took a trip to address police about the situation. The gang has roughly 10,000 members nationwide, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, Trump announced on Twitter that he is replacing now-former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus while returning from the trip to New York.
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