Civil rights group roiled over FBI chief's 'little bit racist' remark

Civil rights groups are firing back at the FBI chief for suggesting law enforcement officers may be "a little bit racist."

FBI Director James Comey's comments let police off the hook for "violent and abusive policing" practices like those that led to the deaths last summer of two unarmed black men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, charged Friday.

"Holding police accountable for addressing the crisis of discriminatory police misconduct is not ‘unfair,’ but is rather one of the most critical challenges facing our nation," the civil rights group said.

The FBI chief suggested in a speech Thursday that police officers should acknowledge their "unconscious bias."

"The two young black men on one side of the street look like so many others that officer has locked up," Comey said. "The two white men on the other side of the street, even in the same clothes, do not. The officer does not make the same association about the two white guys, whether that officer is white or black."

Comey's comments also upset law enforcement groups that shot back.

"Police officers are constantly reminded not to generalize about ethnic groups or religious groups or groups of any kinds," said Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. "We would just remind Director Comey there are over 750,000 police officers and it is probably not good practice to generalize about them."