Wray says FBI not systemically racist

Wray says FBI not systemically racist

FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress on Tuesday that he doesn't believe the bureau is systemically racist, and vowed to make more strides in diversifying its personnel and leadership.

While testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wray was asked by Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) whether he believed the FBI is a "systemically racist institution."

"No, but having said that I do believe the FBI has to be more diverse and more inclusive than it is, and that we need to work a lot harder at that and we're trying to work a lot harder at that," Wray responded.

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He also told Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerWomen urge tech giants to innovate on office return Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines MORE (D-N.J.) that he is "cautiously optimistic" about the FBI's efforts to recruit and hire people of color to the bureau's ranks, saying that each incoming class of special agentsĀ is increasingly diverse.

The FBI has been accused of using its broad law enforcement powers against minorities throughout its history, from investigating civil rights leaders in the mid-20th century to unjustly targeting Muslim Americans in the years following September 11, 2001.

Wray's predecessor, James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBiden sister has book deal, set to publish in April Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records NYT publisher: DOJ phone records seizure a 'dangerous incursion' on press freedom MORE, who was fired by former President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE in 2017, had publicly acknowledged the FBI's sordid history and encouraged its officials to study it.

In a 2016 speech, Comey said that he kept a copy of the 1963 memo signed by J. Edgar Hoover and Robert F. Kennedy authorizing indefinite FBI surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr.

"I keep it there in that spot to remind me of what we in the FBI are responsible for and what we as humans are capable of, and why it is vital that power be overseen, be constrained, be checked," Comey said.