Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg issued a memo to agency employees over the weekend that strongly criticized President Donald Trump‘s recent remarks at a gathering of law enforcement officers on Friday, saying that the words encouraged police to engage in poor behavior.
Trump drew criticism when he commented on how officers took care to keep suspects from getting hurt, as in placing their hands over suspects’ heads while putting them in police cars. “I said, you can take the hand away, OK?”
Trump just called for cops to rough up suspects more in front of a crowd of cops, they cheered pic.twitter.com/f2BMSX56hw
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) July 28, 2017
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said Trump was joking when he said this.
Rosenberg said in his memo, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, went out the following day, “The President, in remarks delivered yesterday in New York, condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by law enforcement.”
The memo went on to say that Rosenberg was not speaking against Trump out of any desire to advance a political or personal agenda. “I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong. That’s what law enforcement officers do. That’s what you do. We fix stuff. At least, we try.”
A spokesperson for the DEA told CNN that the memo was meant “to reinforce our DEA core values and reinforce what everyone at DEA needed to hear, in light of the president’s comments that were broadcast.”