According the Trump administration’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, there’s no “systematic racism” in U.S. law enforcement, just what he dubbed “bad apples” that need to be weeded out.

During an appearance Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” O’Brien was asked by host Jake Tapper:

“George Floyd is hardly the only unarmed black man killed by police. Do you think systemic racism is a problem in law enforcement agencies in the United States?”

O’Brien responded:

“No, I don’t think there’s systemic racism. I think 99.9% of our law enforcement officers are great Americans and many of them are African-American, Hispanic, Asian. They’re working the toughest neighborhoods, they’ve got the hardest jobs to do in this country, and I think they’re amazing great Americans, and they’re my heroes, but you know what, there are some bad apples in there.”

If that’s the case, then why does what we saw in Minneapolis continue to happen all over the country? We have seen countless cases of cops being overly aggressive and brutal with black suspects. And in many of those cases, African-Americans wound up dead. Remember Ferguson, Missouri? The list of cases is long and painful to even look at, but we have to do exactly that and make sure that police officers learn that treating one race of people with less respect and humanity is completely unacceptable.

Additionally, the rhetoric we’ve heard from President Trump over the years — calling black and brown suspects “animals,” encouraging police officers to use brutality on suspects when they place them in a vehicle for transport — is not the least bit helpful and only serves to let dirty cops know that he has their back no matter what heinous acts they commit.

Being a police officer is a stressful, demanding job. But that’s no excuse for those who do the job to take out their frustrations and racial animus on anyone. In fact, such officers should be booted off the force and prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently told us decades ago, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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