During a Sinclair Broadcast Group Townhall that aired Wednesday night, President Donald Trump said that there “probably is” systematic racism in policing and that it is “very sad.”
“Is there systemic racism within police departments and is there any sort of retraining that they need, with the new world we live in?” America This Week host and town hall moderator Eric Bolling asked the president. (RELATED: Trump Just Ended Critical Race Theory Training For Federal Employees, But What Is Critical Race Theory?)
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“That’s always the question,” Trump responded. “You’ve got to ask, is there? And I guess there probably is and that’s very sad.”
“There is and I think there’s not much, or hopefully, there’s not much,” the president added. “But don’t forget a lot of our police departments are made up of Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans. I mean really it’s not like it was 20, 25 years ago. But I guess there always is and it’s a shame. It’s a shame.”
Trump added that “we have to respect our police and we have to let them do their job.”
Amidst nationwide protests and riots against police brutality and systematic racism, the president has repeatedly defended the police. Several police unions, including the Fraternal Order of Police and the New York City Police Benevolent Association, have endorsed Trump for re-election.
Trump has also come out against calls to defund or dismantle police departments. In June, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to dismantle the city’s police department. New York City passed a budget to defund the NYPD by $1 billion, and Seattle approved $100,000 in budget cuts to their police department.
“The Democrats would do this all over the U.S.,” Trump tweeted after Minneapolis passed their budget cuts. “It would be a disaster for safety & security!”
“Many Democrats want to Defund and Abolish Police Departments,” he said in June. “HOW CRAZY!”