US

DOJ Attorney: Slavery, Jim Crow Is Why Black People Don’t Trust Police

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta’s remarks to a group of Colorado lawyers Tuesday claimed black people don’t trust police largely because they once enforced slavery and Jim Crow laws.

In a speech in Denver about policing and the Black Lives Matter movement, Gupta pointed out a breakdown in trust between black communities and the police that serve them.

“Let’s start with the first question and consider the source of the mistrust,” Gupta said, according to her prepared remarks. “Mistrust can’t be explained away as the kneejerk reaction of the ill-informed or the hyperbolic.  It’s in part the product of historical awareness about the role that police have played in enforcing and perpetuating slavery, the Black Codes, lynchings and Jim Crow segregation.  As FBI Director James Comey noted, ‘At many points in American history, law enforcement enforced the status quo, a status quo that was often brutally unfair to disfavored groups.'”

In her speech before the Colorado Lawyers Committee, Gupta also pointed to more recent events that have deteriorated trust between black communities and police. She included the cases of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Walter Scott and Freddie Gray.

“Law enforcement practices such as the stopping and frisking of young black men based on stereotypes,” Gupta’s remarks added. “Sentencing policies that result in mass incarceration, particularly of people of color.  And the devastating consequences that convictions have had on individuals’ ability to find work, secure stable housing and reintegrate as full members of society.”

Gupta has been at the Civil Rights Division for seven months. She made sure to point out that most police officers do the right thing.

“The overwhelming majority of the women and men who police our streets do their jobs with honor, pride and distinction,” Gupta’s remarks added. “Most of these individuals are driven to the police academy out of a commitment to public service and a desire to make an impact in their communities.”

[h/t PJ Media]

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