Attorney General Bill Barr on Wednesday defended law enforcement officers, saying there’s a “false narrative” in the US that many unarmed black people are shot by white cops.
Barr made the comments during a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, where he also rejected the idea that systemic racism exists in the justice system.
“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,” Barr said.
“The fact is that it is very rare for an unarmed African-American to be shot by a white police officer.”
In many instances where cops use excessive force, Barr said, the cause is fear and “not because of race.”
“I don’t think there are two justice systems,” he told Blitzer.
While Barr acknowledged that there are situations where black Americans are treated differently in the system that their white counterparts, he said he didn’t think that was “necessarily racism.”
The nation’s top prosecutor also touched on the civil rights protests raging across the US, specifically in Portland, Ore., and Kenosha, Wisc., in recent weeks, over the police-shootings of black men. He said at least 300 people had been hit with charges stemming from this summer’s unrest.
Barr described how authorities were tracking members of the left-wing Antifa movement who were crossing state lines to incite violence at demonstrations, and even purchasing weapons before riots.
“I’ve talked to every police chief in every city where there’s been major violence and they all have identified Antifa as the ramrod for the violence,” he said.
“They are flying around the country, we know people who are flying around the country,” Barr said, “we know where they’re going, we see some of the purchases they’re making before the riots of weapons to use in those riots.”
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