U.S. Attorney General William Barr at a recent House testimony, responded to the ongoing events in Portland. He reflected on the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and how it, ‘jarred the whole country and forced us to reflect on longstanding issues in the nation.’
Barr continued, “Given our history, it’s understandable that among black Americans, there’s some ambivalence and often distrust toward the police. Until just last 50 years ago or so, our laws and our institutions were explicitly racist, explicitly discriminatory. It was not until the 60s that the civil rights movement finally succeeded in tearing down the Jim Crow edifice. Our laws finally came to formally embody the guarantee of equal protection.”
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Attorney General Barr also recognized, “Police forces today are far more diverse than they’ve ever been and there are both more black police chiefs and more black officers in the ranks. Although the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police was a shocking event, the fact is that these events are fortunately quite rare. According to statistics compiled by The Washington Post, the number of unarmed black men killed by police so far this year is eight. The number of unarmed white men killed by police over the same period of time is eleven. And the overall numbers of police shootings have been decreasing. Nevertheless, every instance of excessive force is unacceptable and must be addressed appropriately through legal process, as is happening now in Minneapolis.”
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