McEnany won’t say if Trump thinks law enforcement bias is systemic

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday would not say whether President Trump believes there is systemic bias in law enforcement in the U.S. against African Americans.

“The president believes that there are injustices and he has pointed them out, and he has not hesitated in pointing out injustices,” McEnany said.

She noted that Trump has spoken out against the officer involved in the death of George Floyd and the case of Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail cell days after a white officer confronted and arrested her during a traffic stop.

Republicans and Democrats alike “should hail” Trump for calling out individual cases of injustice, the press secretary argued. 

But McEnany would not say that Trump believes those injustices are part of a systemic bias in the law enforcement system, an issue that has spurred protests over the past week in response to Floyd’s death after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

“[Trump] points out injustices but he also notes this: that our police officers are good people,” McEnany said. “I’ve seen them out there on the streets protecting people … they’re good, hard-working people. They protect our streets. That’s what law enforcement is about, but at the same time the president will note and he will call out injustices.”

Protests have swept the nation in response to Floyd’s killing, renewing debate over police brutality and the treatment of black Americans by law enforcement. Administration officials have widely condemned the officer’s conduct in Floyd’s case, but have offered differing views on whether the problem is systemic.

“I don’t think there’s systemic racism,” national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday. “I think 99.9 percent of our law enforcement officers are great Americans.”

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that “racism is real in America” and decried Floyd’s death as a “horrible crime.”

Trump has long cast himself as supportive of law enforcement and “law and order,” urging governors in recent days to “dominate” the streets against protesters.

Tags Donald Trump George Floyd protests Mark Esper Racism

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