MONTPELIER, Vt. — Two of Vermont’s top law enforcement officials say that under no circumstances is a police officer permitted to use force that is not reasonable or legally permissible.
In a statement issued Sunday, Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson and Col. Matthew Birmingham, the head of the Vermont State Police, say there is an uncompromising commitment to professionalism and compassion for all individuals, including people taken into custody for criminal activity.
The statement followed comments Friday by President Donald Trump, who appeared to advocate rougher treatment of people in custody. He told police, “Don’t be too nice.”
The statement by Anderson and Birmingham didn’t mention Trump, but statements by any public official condoning or encouraging the unreasonable use of force or the mistreatment of individuals “are inappropriate and antithetical to professional policing.”