The administrator of the DEA just sent an email to his entire agency, warning agents to ignore President Trump's recent suggestion that law enforcement should be rougher with suspects. Chuck Rosenberg, who has served as acting Administrator of the DEA since 2015, said that he expected both DEA agents and local law enforcement personnel to continue handling suspects with respect.
"The President, in remarks delivered yesterday in New York, condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by law enforcement," Rosenberg wrote in the email. "In writing to you, I seek to advance no political, partisan, or personal agenda. Nor do I believe that a Special Agent or Task Force Officer of the DEA would mistreat a defendant. I know that you would not."
The remarks Rosenberg was referring to were delivered during an anti-gang speech held in Long Island’s Suffolk County last Friday. "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," the president said. "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. I said, you can take the hand away, OK?"
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders stated that the president's comment was a joke, and that the media was “trying to make something out of nothing.” Sanders also claimed that Rosenberg's email was based on a misunderstanding of the president's intentions. “It wasn't a directive,” Sanders said. “It was a joke. There's a very big difference.”
Regardless, numerous police departments around the country have released statements distancing themselves from Trump's comment, and promising to treat suspects respectfully.