FBI Director Acknowledges ‘Hard Truths’ About Racial Bias in Policing
In an unusually frank and personal speech, FBI Director James B. Comey on Thursday addressed “hard truths” about policing, acknowledging racial bias among law enforcement officers and lamenting a “disconnect” between police agencies and communities of color.
“We are at a crossroads,” Comey said. “As a society, we can choose to live our lives every day, raising our families, going to work and hoping someone, somewhere will do something to ease the tension, to smooth over the conflict. . . . Or we can choose instead to have an open and honest discussion about what our relationship is today.”
In giving the speech, to students at Georgetown University, Comey placed himself at the heart of the politically charged debate on race, policing and use of force that has so often riven minority communities during the Obama administration.
President Obama has spoken out several times about allegations of police brutality against minorities. In 2009, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. sparked a controversy with a speech in which he said the United States was a “nation of cowards” when it came to discussing race.