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Boston Police respond to Trump’s speech to law enforcement

President Trump.
President Trump. Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The Boston Police Department aims to help, not harm.

That’s the department’s response to President Trump’s advice Friday that police not “be too nice” delivered in a speech on gang violence in Long Island, New York.

“The Boston Police Department’s priority has been and continues to be building relationships and trust with the community we serve,” police said in a statement on Saturday. “As a police department, we are committed to helping people, not harming them.”

Trump on Friday pledged support for law enforcement, but also suggested they take a heavy-handed approach to gangs and other violent offenders.


“We’re going to support you like you’ve never been supported,” Trump said, standing before uniformed police officers at Suffolk County Community College.

“And when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon... I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,’” Trump 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, okay?’”

Trump’s remarks drew a swift rebuke on Twitter from law enforcement, including the Suffolk County Police Department in New York.

“ As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners,” the Suffolk County police said in a tweet.

Kiana Cole can be reached at kiana.cole@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @kianamcole