Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed police to conduct themselves "in a lawful way" and promised to prosecute officers who violate use of force laws while speaking at a conference Tuesday.
Sessions' remarks come as President Donald Trump faces continued criticism for encouraging officers to treat suspected criminals more roughly, NBC News reported.
“Community-based policing was a big part of reducing crime…in America, we can’t back off that now,” Sessions told attendees of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ (NOBLE) annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
At an event last Friday meant to highlight the wave of MS-13 gang violence on Long Island, New York, Trump seemed to urge officers to get physical when arresting suspected gang members.
"When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon — you just see them thrown in, rough," Trump said. "I said, 'Please don't be too nice.'"