Black police chiefs on Trump's law-and-order speech: 'We are not thugs'

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Tarrant described Sessions as authentic, talkative, and thoughtful during the exchange, saying that he former senator spoke at length about his background as a lawyer and prosecutor, seeming to want to make the connection with the NOBLE leadership board.

Tuesday in Atlanta, during his address to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he will use the power of his office to "hold any officer responsible who violates the law" when dealing with suspects.

Sessions is expected to address law enforcement officers and families affected by the opioid crisis at the Columbus Police Academy.

Tarrant, who is also the assistant police chief in Seattle, said Sessions appeared to understand the potential harm of such remarks during the private meeting, but he did not apologize for the comments.

"We feel we have to fall back and start over again. We are in this together". "When you're trying to build trust and you hear that type of inference coming from the commander in chief of this country, it creates a certain anxiety and fear", said Alexander, who was a member of President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.


Other conference attendees approached by The Associated Press declined to discuss Trump's comments or Sessions' address. "We are professionals. We fully expect law enforcement around the country to behave as professionals", the group's president, Perry Tarrant, said after meeting with Sessions. Tarrant agreed with a Sessions sentiment that inside police departments it can be "demoralizing" to be told that you're not good enough.

Trump's remarks came last Friday before law enforcement officers in Suffolk County, New York, during a visit to highlight his administration's efforts to crack down on a street gang known as MS-13. "In the very neighborhoods that need proactive, community-based policing the most, we don't need to be telling police not to do their job in those communities".

He spoke dismissively of the practice of shielding the heads of handcuffed suspects as they are placed in patrol cars.

"I think he has a better understanding of NOBLE and our bandwidth and tenacity and commitment to being the conscience of law enforcement" in the United States, Tarrant said. "I said, 'You could take the hand away, OK, '" he said.

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