Biden: There’s ‘absolutely’ systemic racism in law enforcement

getty: Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks about the unrest across the country from Philadelphia City Hall on June 2, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden said systemic racism exists “across the board,” including in policing, in an interview with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell.

“Absolutely,” Biden said, asked whether there is systemic racism within law enforcement.

“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 said in the interview, set to air in a CBS special Tuesday night. “Look, not all law enforcement officers are racist. My lord, there are some really good, good cops out there. But the way in which it works right now is, we’ve seen too many examples of it.”

Biden also denied the last two weeks, in which protests have erupted across the U.S. over the May 25 killing of George Floyd, had influenced his ultimate choice of vice president, except it’s put a greater focus and urgency on the need to get someone who is totally simpatico with where I am.”

“The one thing that I’ve learned as being the only thing I know a fair amount about is vice presidency. And 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,” Biden added.

Biden’s ultimate choice, he said, must be someone “who is not at all intimidated by the president, not at all intimidated walking in the White House,” and will “be prepared to give their unvarnished opinion and be able to privately argue with the president if they disagree. I want someone strong.”

Several people reported to be on Biden’s shortlist have backgrounds in law enforcement, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), both former prosecutors, and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), a onetime chief of the Orlando Police Department who has frequently discussed the need for policing reforms since Floyd’s death.

Tags Amy Klobuchar Black Lives Matter George Floyd Joe Biden Norah O'Donnell Val Demings

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