US Attorney General: Divide Between African Americans, Police ‘Must Change’

A shift to attempting to address the unrest in the US precipitated by the killing of George Floyd, and acknowledging problems with the US police forces and black Americans in particular.

RCP – Barr: Divide Between African Americans, Police ‘Must Change’

Attorney General William Barr sought on Thursday to quell tensions over the death of George Floyd in police custody, acknowledging a divide between many black Americans and the police and promising to spare no resource as the Justice Department investigates whether a federal civil rights crime was committed.

“While the vast majority of police officers do their job bravely and righteously, it is undeniable that many African Americans lack confidence in our American criminal justice system,” Barr said at a news conference. “This must change. Our constitution mandates equal protection of the laws and nothing less is acceptable.”

Barr’s comments appeared to contrast with prior statements he’s made condemning protests against the police and what he’s described as a “disturbing pattern of cynicism and disrespect shown toward law enforcement.” But he insisted Thursday that his views have been consistent and that the overwhelming majority of police officers “try conscientiously to use appropriate and reasonable force.”

“I believe that police chiefs and law enforcement officials and 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,” Barr said.

I don’t think it is anywhere near a universal commitment.

Most of the protesters have been peaceful and tried to discourage violence.

The most attention is given to the worst examples and excesses, that’s just how media coverage works and there’s no easy solution to that – they would be condemned for not showing the worst. Media have also shown examples of cooperation and empathy between police and protesters.

Trump, Barr and others lay some of the blame for the unrest on left-wing extremist groups, including antifa, and other “anarchists.” Short for anti-fascists, antifa is an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations. He also said “foreign actors” appeared to be trying to “play all sides” to further incite violence in the U.S.

“We have seen evidence that antifa and other similar extremist groups as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions have been involving in instigating and participating in violent activity,” Barr said.

A senior Justice Department official said there have been “multiple instances” where people who have been arrested at demonstrations around the U.S. have identified themselves to law enforcement as members of antifa, the official said.

Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that three Nevada men with ties to a loose movement of right-wing extremists advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government had been arrested on terrorism-related charges in what authorities described as a conspiracy to spark violence during recent protests in Las Vegas.

Anarchists and extremists and those who like to incite and cause trouble will inevitably try to take advantage of protests and unrest.

Trump has claimed he has done more for black America since Abraham Lincoln, but that is just typical self-inflating nonsense.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany earlier had sidestepped questions about whether Trump believes there’s a systemic bias in American law enforcement against African Americans.

But pressed about whether Trump believes there is a larger problem of racial bias in law enforcement, McEnany only acknowledged that Trump “believes there are some examples of injustices.”

Trump has performed poorly over the Floyd death and Black Lives matters protests. RCP polling averages show he has not just reversed gains in approval he got over Covid but has quickly lost support over the last two weeks.

.More trying to divert blame to others. I don’t know how he thinks he will “bring in a different group” in a democracy.

 

Business Insider: Trump suggests George Floyd is ‘looking down’ from heaven and appreciating the ‘great day in terms of equality’ after an unexpectedly strong jobs report was announced

In a freewheeling Friday-morning press conference in the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump touted a strong May jobs report and said he hoped George Floyd, who was killed by the Minneapolis police 10 days ago, was “looking down” from heaven and saying this “is a great thing that’s happening for our country.”

The economy added 2.5 million jobs in May, bringing the unemployment rate down to 13.3% from 14.7% in April.

That’s a surprising turnaround, but the economy has a lot to weather yet.

“Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. It’s a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. It is a great, great day in terms of equality,” Trump said.

It is premature to be claiming economic victory after Covid – 25,000 new cases in the US so far today and another thousand deaths.

I don’t think that if George Floyd could see what has happened since his death he would see anything great happening.

A major problem in the US (apart from Trump) is that there are many different police forces managed and employed by various cities and states, with top police officials elected. It will be very difficult to improve police behaviour across the country.

Leave a comment

28 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th June 2020

    Anyone who thinks there is an easy fix for this doesn’t understand the problem.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  6th June 2020

      Dead right Alan. We often hear it said that we’re a young country. An easy marker for some considerations is the Treaty, signed in 1840.

      The population of America in 1840 was 17.5 million including 2.5 million slaves. Slavery wasn’t abolished in law until the 1860s. Inherent attitudes of entitlement and superiority aren’t signed away by signatures on bits of paper.

      Of course that is just a background to a multitude of other factors. Those who see an easy fix for this are likely those who see easy fixes for anything – “Here, have a swig of disinfectant, it’ll kill whatever’s inside.”

      The salesman just has to put uniforms on the disinfectant and pour it all over the streets. “There you go, sir, ma’am, fixed.”

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  6th June 2020

        I hesitate to say anything about it. First, all cops have a “them and us” view of the world. Second, they have to believe the few can control and dominate the many. Third, the bad guys have guns to heighten the fear factor. Fourth, it is shit job so who wants it? Fifth, most of the dangerous bad guys are minorities living in poor/bad neighbourhoods. Sixth, cops are at the mercy of politics and politicians. Seventh, their leadership in the US is fragmented and likely inconsistent and contradictory.

        I don’t think you even have to get to societal or individual racism to have major problems and hazards.

        Reply
        • There are many problems and difficulties outside of racism for sure, but when you add racism to the mix it can be even worse.

          To address both the wider issues and the racial issues major reform and changes of attitude would be required. Going by what has happened in the past the chances of significant changes look slim.

          Reply
        • There are many problems and difficulties outside of racism for sure, but when you add racism to the mix it can be even worse.

          To address both the wider issues and the racial issues major reform and changes of attitude would be required. Going by what has happened in the past the chances of significant changes look slim.

          Reply
      • Pink David

         /  6th June 2020

        What is the best one thing that should change that would make things better?

        Reply
  2. Corky

     /  6th June 2020

    Some how I can’t imagine Temura Morrision and Cliff Curtis becoming cops. But in America…

    https://www.insider.com/celebrities-who-have-done-police-work-2018-10#law-and-order-star-got-his-start-patrolling-the-streets-of-chicago-4

    Reply
  3. Pink David

     /  6th June 2020

    Black lives matter;

    Reply
  4. duperez

     /  6th June 2020

    In the 1700s and 1800s did black people tolerate what happened to them because they knew they’d be beaten or killed? Here we go, 2020 and and those victimised are meant to ‘grin and bear it.’ Agents of the state become agents of hate like the slave masters of 200 years ago.

    We try to emulate America in so many ways. If this is good policing lets’s do this sort of thing here. And as parents when it happens to our kids we can applaud the strong measures on the street to ensure we have a ‘great society.’

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  6th June 2020

      Bad policing is not a race issue.

      ” Three-and-a-half years ago, a 26-year-old Maryland man with Down syndrome went to the movies with an aide, and never returned home.”

      https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/09/14/judge-lawsuit-can-move-forward-in-death-of-md-man-with-down-syndrome/

      Reply
      • of course there is bad policing that is not a race issue, but there is still a lot of bad policing that is a race issue (actually race issues).

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  6th June 2020

          That’s easy to say, not easy to prove given compounding factors.

          Reply
            • And another.

              Conservative Commentators Suggest Protests Are Based On A ‘Lie’—Here’s Why That’s Misleading

              “People say, ‘Police are killing unarmed black men at record rates!’—this is a lie,” Charlie Kirk said, also referencing the Washington Post database, in a selfie video tearing into the protests posted on his Instagram account that as of Thursday had more than 1.4 million views.

              Kirk and Carlson also both reference a Wall Street Journal opinion piece entitled “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism” published on Tuesday by Heather Mac Donald, a conservative commentator and author, who makes a similar argument: “However sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians,” Mac Donald writes.

              Yet, while the data is right, the majority of protesters are railing against the fact that black people are disproportionately shot and killed by police, which is supported by the Post’s database.

              As Philip Bump of the Post points out, according to the same statistic category, twice as many unarmed white people (20) were shot and killed by police as black people (10) last year, but whites make up almost five times as much of the population (blacks were also much more likely to be arrested than whites in every year since 2012, for which data are available).

              https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackbrewster/2020/06/04/fox-news-personalities-suggest-protests-are-based-on-a-lie—heres-why-thats-misleading/#5a15ab5c5da3

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  6th June 2020

              That’s just silly. Police have more hazardous interactions with criminal activities and blacks are more likely to be both perpetrators and victims.

            • Pink David

               /  6th June 2020

              “Here’s Why That’s Misleading”

              Is it? Can you point to any killing of a black person by Police were there was a specific ‘racist’ intent or motivation in recent years?

              All there is other than that is arguing over what data to use for ‘proportional’. Population? Crimes committed? Arrests? Contact with Police? Living in major cities?

        • Pink David

           /  6th June 2020

          Of course.

          The very best example is in the UK where gangs were raping many thousands of underage girls and these crimes were ignored by police because of race.

          Reply
    • I saw a video of a black man who was going to be arrested for walking on the road. He had been walking beside it, but came to a place where it was dug up so he had to walk in the road; he had no option. Up came a copper right on cue. The man was let go after a lot of protesting on his part.

      Reply
  5. Reply
    • Yes, I’m sure that George is looking down and saying that it was worth dying that horrible, painful death to be lauded by Trump.

      Reply
  6. Pink David

     /  6th June 2020

    Black Lives Matter?

    “Chicago saw its most violent weekend of 2020, which also saw protests, riots and looting in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
    Eighty-two people were shot, 19 fatally — with more than half of the weekend’s victims shot on Sunday.”

    https://wgntv.com/news/chicago-news/chicago-sees-most-violent-weekend-of-2020-with-82-shot-19-fatally/amp/

    Reply
  7. FarmerPete

     /  6th June 2020

    The George Floyd killing took place in a democratic controlled city. Democrat mayor and democrat appointed police chief. Most of these big cities where these incidents have happened have been under democrat control for decades, but somehow it is not their fault! It’s the alt right or the republicans or the systemic racism of the wider society. Oh, I forgot it’s really Trump’s fault.
    Now these mayors who refused to protect their cities want federal funds for reconstruction.

    Reply
    • David

       /  6th June 2020

      It does my head in Farmer all these people blaming Trump without even bothering to have a look at the setup of the US government. Trump is no more responsible or racist than when it happened under Obama, Clinton, Bush or any other US president.
      The Governors and Mayors run the police and 99% of the awful problems the black community face happen in Democrat controlled jurisdiction. The Democrats get huge cheques from the police unions, the prison guards union and the teachers union and while black america continues to vote Democrat nothing will change.
      The President has almost no power over the way things are run, the constitution gives the states the powers to run themselves without too much interference from the federal government.

      Reply
  8. Pink David

     /  6th June 2020

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s