White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has rejected Sunday that there is “systemic racism” in the police and has attributed to a few “bad apples” incidents like the one that last week cost the life of the African American George Floyd during an arrest.
“I don’t think there is systemic racism. I think 99.9 percent of our agents are good Americans,” O’Brian said in an interview with CNN. O’Brian has recalled that many police officers are African American, “Hispanic” and Asian.
“I think they are extraordinary Americans. They are my heroes. But there are some bad apples inside that make a bad name. There are some bad cops who are racist and there are cops who may not be properly trained and there are others who are just bad cops who should be removed, “he argued.
Agents like the “dirty cop who killed George Floyd” should be removed, he has indicated, though has not mentioned Derek Chauvin, formally charged in Floyd’s death. O’Brian recalled that Chauvin has a “long history of these behaviors.” “Why was he still in the body? Where were the prosecutors and the police leadership?”
O’Brien has also defended the confrontational rhetoric of the president, Donald Trump, who has referred to the protesters as “thugs” and who has warned that “when the looting begins, the shooting begins,” a phrase used by the head of Miami Police Walter Headley during the 1967 civil rights protest movement.
O’Brien has said that Trump hopes to “stop the violence” and has attributed the president’s words to “passion”. In addition, he recalled that when Trump first saw the video of Floyd’s arrest, he was on ‘Air Force One’ and that he was “moved”.
After the video was released in which Chauvin imprisons Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, he and three other officers involved were dismissed. The other officers have not been charged.
Floyd’s death has sparked a wave of protests in major American cities that have resulted in serious unrest, at least three dead (plus a federal agent whose death is under investigation into his possible connection to the unrest) and hundreds of detainees.