Barr: There ‘Is a Widespread Phenomenon’ of African Americans Being Treated with ‘Extra Suspicion’ by Police

During an interview with ABC News released on Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr stated that there is “a widespread phenomenon” of African Americans, particularly black males being treated “with extra suspicion and maybe not given the benefit of the doubt” by law enforcement that must be addressed. And there is “work to do in addressing the distrust that exists in the African American community toward law enforcement.”

Barr defended his past statements on systemic racism in law enforcement by saying that the definition of “systemic” is unclear. Because it’s unclear if “systemic” means that racism is inherent to the system, or is widespread within the system. He added, “I do think that it is a widespread phenomenon that African American, males particularly, are treated with extra suspicion and maybe not given the benefit of the doubt. I think it is wrong if people are not respected appropriately and being given their due. And I think it’s something that we have to address.”

He also said, “I think that this episode in Minneapolis showed that we still have some work to do in addressing the distrust that exists in the African American community toward law enforcement.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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