Updated Jun 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden says there is "absolutely" systemic racism in law enforcement

 Democratic presidential candidate, and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the unrest across the country from Philadelphia City Hall on June 2

Democratic presidential candidate, and former Vice President Joe Biden at Philadelphia City Hall in Pennsylvania on June 2. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden told "CBS Evening News" in an interview broadcast Tuesday night he "absolutely" believes there is "systemic racism" in law enforcement and also "across the board."

Details: In his interview with CBS' Norah O'Donnell, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee outlined how he would address systemic racism in the criminal justice system if he were elected, including having a national, public registry on police misconduct that would be reported to the Department of Justice.

Zoom in: Asked by O'Donnell whether there is systemic racism in law enforcement, Biden replied, "Absolutely. But it's not just in law enforcement, it's across the board.

  • "It's in housing, it's in education, and it's in everything we do. It's real. It's genuine. It's serious."
  • Biden stressed that not all law enforcement officers are racist and that there are some "good cops out there." But there had been too many examples of racism in law enforcement.

Of note: Biden's views on systemic racism differ to those of top Trump administration officials. Attorney General Bill Barr told CBS News Sunday that he understands the African American community's "distrust" with police, but denied U.S. law enforcement is systemically racist.

  • White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said on CNN Sunday he doesn't believe there is systemic racism among law enforcement in the U.S., but there are "a few bad apples" giving police a bad name.

What else he's saying: Biden denied that the Black Lives Matter protests that began two weeks ago over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody had affected his decision on who to choose as his vice presidential running mate.

  • "It's really important that, whomever you pick as a vice president, agrees with you in terms of your philosophy of government, and agrees with you on the systemic things that you want to change," he said, adding that the ideal vice president should be strong and prepared to give their "unvarnished opinion and be able to privately argue with the president if they disagree."

The big picture: Biden has committed to choosing a woman as his pick. An announcement is expected around August 1.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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