Millions of Americans have taken to the streets to protest the systemic racism in US law enforcement systems.
The problem is, that narrative is a myth. Attorney General Bill Barr ended the argument on Thursday, saying on Thursday: “The overwhelming number of police officers try contentiously to use appropriate and reasonable force.”
Katie Benner of the New York Times asked whether Barr is going to address “whether we’re looking at a systemic issue” of racism within police forces in the US. Barr snapped back that “Those that engage in that kind of activity I think are a distinct minority. I think the overwhelming number of police officers try contentiously to use appropriate and reasonable force.”
However, Barr continued to emphasize that the issue of police brutality and law enforcement reform is being prioritized by the DOJ in his Thursday remarks:
George Floyd’s death was not the first of its kind, and it exposes concerns that reach far beyond this case. While the vast majority of police officers do their job bravely and righteously, it is undeniable that many African Americans lack confidence in the American criminal justice system. That must change.
Our Constitution mandates equal protection of the laws, and nothing less is acceptable. As the nation’s leading federal law-enforcement agency, the Department of Justice will do its part. I believe that police chiefs and law enforcement leaders around the country are committed to ensuring that racism plays no part in law enforcement, and that everyone receives equal protection of the laws.
In October 2019, the President established the first Commission on Law Enforcement since the 1960’s. I am meeting later this month with the Commission and have been talking with law enforcement leaders around the country.
In the weeks and months ahead, we will be working with community leaders to find constructive solutions so that Mr. Floyd’s death will not have been in vain. We will work hard to help bring good out of bad.
Barr is not alone in his stance on institutional racism within law enforcement agencies. Political commentator and attorney Heather Mac Donald wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week that “however sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians.”
“A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing. Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions,” Mac Donald continued.
Leftists have weaponized the issue of police brutality to attack and dismantle law enforcement agencies nationwide, but the contention that the issue of rogue officers using excessive force is can be linked to systemic racism is not backed up by the facts.
“Police training needs to double down on de-escalation tactics. But Floyd’s death should not undermine the legitimacy of American law enforcement, without which we will continue on a path toward chaos,” Mac Donald concluded.