Sioux Falls Police Chief Rejects Trump’s Casual Thuggery

Donald Trump used his bully pulpit last week to encourage police brutality:

Trump delivered a combative law-and-order speech in the New York suburb Friday, calling gang members “animals” and praising law enforcement for being “rough.”

Speaking before law enforcement officers, Trump praised the aggressive tactics of immigration officers and suggested that police shouldn’t protect the heads of handcuffed suspects being put in the back of a car.

“When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon. You see them thrown in rough. I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,'” Trump said to applause, referring to officers shielding prisoners’ heads with their hands.

“Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody. I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?'” [Ray Sanchez, “Police Push Back Against Trump’s Law-and_order Speech,”, 2017.07.29]

Police chiefs around the country are calling Trump’s wiseguy comments inappropriate. Critics include Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns:

In response to those remarks, Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns released this statement:

“The comments by the President regarding police use of force do not reflect the views or the policy of the Sioux Falls Police Department in regards to the handling or treatment of persons in our custody. We treat all persons with respect regardless of our reason for contact with them” [“Sioux Falls Police Chief Responds to Trump’s Use of Force Comments,” KSFY, 2017.07.30]

It’s bad enough that Trump’s speech to police last week was filled with the usual factual errors. It’s worse that he projected a thug-like attitude that public-service minded police in Sioux Falls and across the country reject as unprofessional and counterproductive.

15 Responses to Sioux Falls Police Chief Rejects Trump’s Casual Thuggery

  1. mike from iowa

    OT the thuggery continues in the Drumpf Chaos. The “Mooch” is out of a job already. Drumpf was bragging on Twitter his administration is not in chaos.

  2. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    The Republican Party is out of control. Sadly, the GOP has become the Party where congressmen body slam reporters, dream of getting into duels with fellow colleagues, and its President tells law enforcement officials to “Please don’t be too nice,” when it comes to arrests.

    What has happen to the Party of Eisenhower, of Rockefeller, Goldwater, Howard Baker, Ford, Dole, Reagan, Bush41, McCain, and Romney? Sadly, the GOP has become the Party of the drunken father at the dinner table who deserves no place at that table and definitely not a leadership position either at home or nationally.

    The GOP is slowly imploding at the expense of us all, as it has become consumed by the politics of aggression, the politics of confrontation, and the politics which lacks any sensible understanding of civility itself. This sad reality is what happens when a political party is dependent upon racism, class distinction, and general fear itself, in order, to be politically relevant. Good Republicans must take back their Party, so that all Americans, regardless of their partisan bents, may have their country back as we recently once knew it…..

  3. The main tenent of our justice is ( innocent until proven guilty) . Any decision before a trial is vigilantism.

  4. Miranda Gohn

    John Kennedy Claussen, Sr well said!

    Senator Susan Collins is another I really respect and it has taken courage to do what she has done.

    The Gerald Ford presidential museum is one I’d especially like to visit. David Brooks from the NYT wrote in an article earlier this year mentioning Gerald Ford.

    President Ford has a very interesting history but he was really a gentleman and I admire how he handled himself. He inherited a mess when he became president and if memory serves me his long time goal was to be Speaker of the House which he loved and not be in the presidential office but he answered the call and served.

    I do not celebrate what has happened to the Republican Party. What has been happening drags all of us down. We are better than this and need to learn from how we got here and move forward.

  5. mike from iowa

    Just to lighten the moment-

    Remember your entire congressional representation as well as most of mine helped create the chaos in DC and have done nothing to stop it.

    You know the first time a cop gets overly exuberant in arresting a minority, Drumpf’s chumps will cheer and Drumpf will deny having anything to do with the violence.

  6. “The Republican Party is out of control” yet Trump is, in fact, in control. . .

    “Senator Susan Collins is another I really respect” cited to repeal Obamacare but when it counted chickened out. . .

  7. Miranda Gohn


    Trump’s days are numbered whether he is impeached before his term is up or does not win re-election. Didn’t he say he would unite us? I’d say he did. Not one to usually bet but I would bet he does not make it to a second term.

  8. I just hope and pray we use common sense in any job we do. This includes all fields of work such as the police department. Sometimes people are injured when brutal force and use of weapons are not needed. I often wonder if there are other tactics available. We all need each other at some point. God help us under the current political situation.

  9. Nick Nemec

    The hardcore 35% eat this stuff up.

  10. Despite this statement from the chief, the SFPD remains one of the most overzealous police forces. More badges on the streets driving around shadily in unmarked cars solves nothing. Time to wake up… We truly are living in an overintrusive police state accross America.

  11. Morondo~ “Trump’s days are numbered”

    By law to 2,920 days. . .

  12. I may have missed oldsarg’s answer to your questions Miranda. I think you asked about his mos and where he served, what did he respond?

  13. Miranda Gohn


    OldSarge never answered any of my questions regarding his own service or anything to have a sincere dialog. Eh! It’s ok not wasting much time on this one. Thank you for asking though!

  14. Now the White House says the President was just joking about police roughing up suspects.

    Does that mean we can all go to the airport and resume joking about bombs and hijackings?

    As CNN’s Jim Acosta said in the press room, police brutality is “not a joking matter.” The words of the President of the United States matter more than many other people’s words; thus the President has far less leeway to joke. Failure to grasp that distinction and duty further indicates an unfitness to Preside.

  15. I also agree with Mike’s point that police already have too much power amidst massive surveillance and militarized cops. We should not overempower cops further by treating their use of force against civilians as a laughing matter. The use of force is always grave. It is all the graver when police use it, since they may be using it against an innocent person. (Technically, when they make an arrest, police are always using force against an innocent person, since no one is guilty until a court says so.)