Trump Admin Officials Continue Denying Systemic Racism In Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 19: Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf speaks during a cabinet meeting in the East Room of the White House on May 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day President Trump... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 19: Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf speaks during a cabinet meeting in the East Room of the White House on May 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day President Trump met with members of the Senate GOP. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 7, 2020 5:30 p.m.

Trump administration officials on Sunday echoed White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien’s denial last week that systemic racism is an issue in law enforcement agencies across the country.

Acting Homeland Security Sec. Chad Wolf, Attorney General Bill Barr, and Housing and Urban Development Sec. Ben Carson were asked during Sunday morning interviews about whether systemic racism is an issue in the U.S. as protests against police brutality continue in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Here’s how they weighed in:

Acting DHS Sec. Chad Wolf

After ABC News’ Martha Raddatz mentioned that black Americans are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans, Wolf said that he does not think that the country has “a systemic racism problem” with law enforcement officers despite how there “some” law enforcement officers that abuse their jobs who need to be held accountable.

Wolf went on to argue that “painting law enforcement with a broad brush of systemic racism is really a disservice to the men and women who put on the badge.”

Watch Wolf’s remarks below:

Attorney General Bill Barr

When pressed by CBS News’ Margaret Brennan about whether he believes there is systemic racism in law enforcement, Barr seemed to echo Wolf’s response to the same question.

“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, before claiming that he “understands the distrust of the African-American community.”

Barr later argued that he doesn’t think reduced immunity is needed to “go after the bad cops” due to how that “would result certainly in police pulling back.”

“I think that there are instances of bad cops,” Barr said. “And I think we have to be careful about automatically assuming that the actions of an individual necessarily mean that their organization is rotten.”

Watch Barr’s remarks below:

 

Housing and Urban Development Sec. Ben Carson

Although he did not explicitly deny that systemic racism exists, Carson launched into a tangent about how he “grew up at a time when there was real systemic racism” when pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper about whether he thinks there is systemic racism in police forces.

Carson went on to say that racists are “absolutely” still around but that most police officers are “wonderful” despite “some who are rogue.”

The Housing and Urban Development secretary then repeated Trump’s baseless claim that “antifa” — which the President vowed to designate as a “terrorist organization” despite how it’s a loosely organized, left-wing movement against fascism — is behind the violence that has erupted during nationwide protests.

“You want to abolish police departments? Are you kidding me?” Carson said. “What happens if you do that? Everybody goes out and arms themselves. They start hiring vigilante groups to protect them. We have total chaos going on. You know, that makes absolutely no sense.”

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