“The police chiefs, the rank-and-file officers understand the need for change and there has been great change,” AG Barr stated in the interview with Bret Baier.
“I think defunding the police, holding the entire police structure responsible for the actions of certain officers is wrong and I think it is dangerous to demonize the police,” he continued.
“There is no question it is an issue, and it has to be dealt with, but in terms of sheer numbers, is it these police officers who are oppressing African American communities?” AG Bill Barr said on Monday.
“There are a lot more damage, a lot more killing, a lot more fear engendered on the streets from criminal elements.”
“In Chicago, for example, in one weekend, 60 to 70 people shot.”
“If you pull back the police from these communities there will be more harm done in these communities,” Barr added.
AG Barr also appeared on CBS and stated: “I think there’s racism in the United States still, but I don’t think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist. I understand the distrust, however, of the African American community given the history in this country.”
“I think we have to recognize that for most of our history, our institutions were explicitly racist. They denied equal rights to African Americans first under slavery, then under Jim Crow,” AG Barr said.
“I think since the abolition of Jim Crow laws, which really didn’t get struck down completely until the 1960s. Since the 1960s, I think we’ve been in a phase of reforming our institutions and making sure that they’re in sync with our laws and aren’t fighting a rearguard action to impose inequities.”
“I think the reform is a difficult task, but I think it is working, and progress has been made,” AG Barr added.
“We have a generation of police leaders in this country, many of whom are now African American, in our major cities, who are firmly committed to equal justice and to fair policing, and we’ve been working hard on this.”