Speaking to law enforcement officers in Brentwood, New York, Trump said, "When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you see them thrown in rough. I said, 'Please don't be too nice.' Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. I said, 'You can take the hand away, OK?'"
He added, "When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head you know, the way you put their hand over [their head]. 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?'"
Shortly after the speech, the Suffolk County Police Department, whose jurisdiction is the county in which Trump spoke, came out against the remarks.
"The SCPD has strict rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners," it tweeted. "Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously."
A subsequent tweet read, "As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners."
Following the Suffolk County Police Department's tweets, its counterparts across the country also took to social media to express their dissatisfaction with Trump's remarks, and to reiterate their policies for handling people in custody.
GAINESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT, FLORIDA
"The @POTUS made remarks today that endorsed and condoned police brutality," tweeted the Gainesville Police Department. "GPD rejects these remarks and continues to serve with respect.
The Gainesville Police Department's spokesman, Ben Tobias, tweeted, "I'm a cop. I do not agree with or condone @POTUS remarks today on police brutality. Those that applauded and cheered should be ashamed."
BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT
"The Boston Police Department's priority has been and continues to be building relationships and trust with the community we serve," read a statement. "As a police department we are committed to helping people, not harming them."
PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF RICHARD ROSS
"Our dept does not condone the mistreatment of prisoners," Ross tweeted. "We have and will continue to treat arrested persons with respect and dignity."
SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF KATHLEEN O'TOOLE
"Seattle’s police officers have embraced reform and have worked incredibly hard to build community trust," O'Toole said in a statement. "We do not intend to go backwards. It is truly unfortunate that in today’s toxic environment, politicians at both ends of the spectrum have sought to inflame passions by politicizing what we do. We remain committed to our principles and reject irresponsible statements that threaten to undermine our relationship with the community.
NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF MICHAEL HARRISON
"Any unreasonable or unnecessary application of force against any citizen erodes trust at a time when we need support from our local communities the most," Harrison said in a statement. "This is not a binary choice of either protecting the public or protecting a person's rights. We can and we must protect both, and NOPD will continue to lead the way in adopting policing reforms that do just that."
HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF ART ACEVEDO
"To be clear, inappropriate attempt at gallows humor does not reflect values of respect & commitment to constitutional policing of profession," Acevedo tweeted in response to a story about the president's remarks.
NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT
SOUTHSIDE PLACE POLICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF DON MCCALL, TEXAS
"I'm sure our brothers and sisters in law enforcement will continue to act professionally regardless of who is in the WH," McCall tweeted.
LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF CHARLIE BECK
"If an officer acts outside the law, it serves only to undermine the hard work and sacrifice they make to keep this city safe," Beck tweeted.
LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT FIRST ASSISTANT CHIEF MICHEL R. MOORE
"Policing is about valor, sacrifice and service -- not thuggery," Moore tweeted.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
"The LASD respects the rights of all our Los Angeles County residents and those outside our jurisdiction," a spokesman said in a statement to ABC News. "We have worked tirelessly to strengthen public trust. We have established some of the most comprehensive and forward-thinking policies and procedures to protect the public and enforce the laws, while at the same time keeping our deputies safe. We will continue to enhance community partnerships and always work to strengthen our commitment to overall public safety."