Government officials: No systemic problem of racism within law enforcement agencies
UPDATED 9:30 AM PT — Sunday, June 7, 2020
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has stated he believes there is “not a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers” across the U.S. On Sunday, Wolf acknowledged some officers have abused their job and noted it’s important to hold them accountable for this.
However, he said he doesn’t believe George Floyd’s death was brought on by a “manifestation of racism” within law enforcement agencies.
According to Wolf, it’s important to know what these officers are up against before arguing agencies need to change.
“Painting law enforcement with a broad brush of systemic racism is really a disservice to the men and women who put on the badge and the uniform every day. (They) risk their lives to protect the American people so they can go to school, have a business and come home safe to their families. I think we need to keep that in mind as well.” – Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security
He added agencies can always do more to extend outreach to the communities who feel slighted.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr also discussed systemic racism in law enforcement this week. During a recent interview, he said while he believes racism still exists in the U.S., he doesn’t think that law enforcement is systemically racist.
He went on to say he understands that the trust between the African American community and law enforcement has been broken. He acknowledged that, historically, the country’s institutions were explicitly racist, but pointed out there have been reform efforts since the 1960s.
He added he doesn’t think any level of immunity needs to be taken from police in order to fix the issues.
“You know, policing is the toughest job in the country. …The vast, overwhelming majority of police are good people. They’re civic minded people who believe in serving the public. They do so bravely, they do so righteously.” – William Barr, U.S. Attorney General
He continued by saying that all organizations have people who engage in misconduct, but it doesn’t mean that the entire agency is rotten.
Barr said the next steps will be continuing to encouraging reforms to promote equal opportunity.