Graham: 'America is not a racist country'

Graham: 'America is not a racist country'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor How Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday that the U.S. was not a racist country but faced racism in the form of "bad actors" following the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd

During an interview with Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceAides who clashed with Giuliani intentionally gave him wrong time for Trump debate prep: book GOP says Schumer vote will fail The Hill's Morning Report - Surging COVID-19 infections loom over US, Olympics MORE on "Fox News Sunday," Graham explained that in his view, the U.S. was not a racist country and did not have racist "systems," but did face continuing challenges from some Americans who hold racist beliefs.

"No, in my opinion...our systems are not racist," America is not a racist country," Graham told Wallace.

"This attack on police and policing...reform the police yes, call them all racists no," he continued.

The South Carolina senator said a bipartisan compromise on the issue of policing reform could be reached in Congress if Democrats could agree to modify their call to end qualified immunity, which protects police officers and departments from most lawsuits in cases of police violence. Graham said he would support suing a department instead of individuals.

"Qualified immunity is a problem. It’s a pretty simple solution: Don’t sue the police officer, sue the department," Graham said.

The issue "is a very big deal," Graham continued, adding: "If you want to destroy policing in America make sure every police officer gets sued when they leave the house."

His remarks come just days following the widely-anticipated end of Chauvin's trial in Minnesota, where the former police officer was found guilty on three counts related to Floyd's death including second-degree murder. Chauvin now awaits sentencing.

Floyd's death last year sparked widespread protests against police brutality, and revived support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Video of the incident sparked outrage from activists and politicians, particularly Democrats, when it was revealed that Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck while he was handcuffed and clearly in distress for more than nine minutes.