Jun 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Acting DHS secretary denies there's "systemic racism" in law enforcement

"I do not think we have a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers across this country," Chad Wolf, the acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a position that has been publicly echoed by a number of top Trump administration officials over the last week of nationwide protests against police brutality, including Attorney General Bill Barr and national security adviser Robert O'Brien.

What they're saying: "Do I acknowledge that there are some law enforcement officers that have abused their job? Yes," Wolf said. "And, again, we need to hold those accountable. There are individuals in every profession across this country that have probably abused their authority and their power, and we need to hold them accountable."

  • "Can we do better? Can we do more? Can we continue to do more in the law enforcement arena — outreach to our communities, specifically those that feel slighted — absolutely. I think there is always things that we can do more."
  • "But, again, painting law enforcement with a broad brush of systemic racism is really a disservice to the men and women who put on the badge, the uniform, every day."

The big picture: There is a large racial divide in terms of trust in police in the United States, according to an Axios-Ipsos poll.

  • Just 36% of African Americans polled said they trust local police officers, compared to 77% of white people.
  • Republicans were also more likely than Democrats to say they trust the police, 78% to 63%.

Go deeper: Black Lives Matter co-founder explains "Defund the police" slogan

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