Bill Barr insists the police shootings of unarmed African Americans aren't racially motivated.
The Attorney General made the comments during an appearance on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, claiming there was a "false narrative" about racial biases within criminal justice system. Barr told Blitzer that there were some situations in which a Black person was treated differently by police and not "given the benefit of the doubt," but doesn't believe those instances indicate systemic racism.
"I don't think there are two justice systems," Barr said. "I think the narrative that the police are in some epidemic of shooting unarmed black men is simply a false narrative and also the narrative that's based on race ... I think the narrative that the police are on some, you know, epidemic of shooting unarmed black men is simply a false narrative and also the narrative that that's based on race. The fact of the matter is very rare for an unarmed African-American to be shot by a white police officer."
Attorney General Bill Barr: "It's very rare for an unarmed African American to be shot by a white police officer." pic.twitter.com/0eVlFvG7Fg— The Recount (@therecount) September 2, 2020
Barr was also asked how he thinks Black parents should speak to their children about the cases of Jacob Blake and George Floyd. The Attorney General said he didn't want to weigh in on the Blake case, because it wasn't comparable to Floyd's.
"I think it's different than the Floyd case," he said. "Floyd was already subdued, incapacitated, in handcuffs, and was not armed. In the Jacob case, he was in the midst of committing a felony and he was armed."
Kenosha officers claim there was a knife on the floorboard of Blake's car when he was shot seven times by an officer. Blake's family has denied that he was armed during the incident.
"I don't want to talk about the [Blake and Floyd cases] as if they're interchangeable," Barr said. "I do think that there appears to be a phenomenon in the country where African Americans feel that they're treated when they're stopped by police frequently as suspects before they are treated as citizens. I don't think that that necessarily reflects some deep-seated racism in police departments or in most police officers ... I think people operate very frequently according to stereotypes and I think it takes extra precaution on the part of law enforcement to make sure we don't reduce people to stereotypes, we treat them as individuals."