Attorney General William Barr thinks if the American people and the press put police brutality “in perspective” and take into account that “many whites” are shot by police, they would realize systemic racism isn’t as bad as it seems to be. Barr made the remark in a lengthy interview with NPR published Thursday. When asked about police brutality, specifically the shooting of unarmed Black men, Barr pointed to other measures to “put it in perspective,” saying Black people commit the majority of the murders of other Black people and that “there are many whites who are shot unarmed by police.” While the police do shoot unarmed white people, research shows officers use force against Black people at disproportionately high rates.
Barr and President Donald Trump have decried the role of anti-fascist activists in the recent protests against police brutality and the alleged murder of George Floyd, saying “Antifa” was the reason some protests turned violent. But the Justice Department has made no public announcement that anyone arrested at the protests has been affiliated with such an organization. The Attorney General said investigations are ongoing and some of those charged “do identify as Antifa.”