Barr: There Is Racism in the Country, but the 'Law Enforcement System' Is Not Systemically Racist


Attorney General William Barr says that there is racism in the United States, but says he does not believe that the “law enforcement system is systemically racist.”

“I think there’s racism in the United States still, but I don’t think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist,” Barr said in an interview on CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday.

He continued, “I understand the distrust, however, of the African-American community given the history in this country. I think we have to recognize that for most of our history, our institutions were explicitly racist.”

“Since the 1960s, I think we’ve been in a phase of reforming our institutions and making sure that they’re in sync with our laws and aren’t fighting a rearguard action to impose inequities.”

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Barr’s comments come as protesters voiced their outrage in the wake of George Floyd’s death. And many have called for Congress to pass police reforms.

Barr continued to say that he believes that progress has been made in reforming policing, “I think the reform is a difficult task, but I think it is working and progress has been made.”

In recent days, several high-level officials in President Donald Trump’s administration have pushed back on claims that there is systemic racism in law enforcement.

On Sunday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said, “I do not think that we have a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers across this country.”

“Do I acknowledge that there are some officers that abuse their job? Yes. And again, we need to hold those accountable.”

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“No, I don’t think there’s systemic racism. I think 99.9% of our law enforcement officers are great Americans,” National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said last Sunday.

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He continued, “Many of them are African American, Hispanic, Asian, they’re working the toughest neighborhood, they’ve got the hardest jobs to do in this country, and I think they’re amazing, great Americans.”

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died last month after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by placing his knee on Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes. 

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