Trump's Homeland Security official says George Floyd would've been killed by Derek Chauvin even if he was white
Even as nationwide protests continue following the death of George Floyd, under the knee of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, the acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Ken Cuccinelli said on Sunday, June 7, that he did not think that Floyd would have received any less harsh treatment from the police officer had he been white.
When Cuccinelli was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if he thought Floyd would still be alive if he were white, and former replied said, "No." "I don't think he would," he said. "What I heard in that eight-and-a-half minute clip was someone who was a bully, who is abusing his position of authority and power in the law. And I have a funny feeling, I don't know anything about his professional history, but I have a feeling that we're going to find that he wasn't necessarily that well thought of as a role model among law enforcement through the time of his career, to say the least."
His comments were antithetical to thousands of protesters marching against what they are calling institutionalized racism in law enforcement agencies and police brutality toward the African-American community, as they demand justice for Floyd. According to Cuccinelli, systemic racism was not an issue in law enforcement.
"There are individuals who are racist, they're a small number," he said. "I would suggest that a bigger problem that can be filtered and trained for is simply bullying. We should challenge that attitude when we find it among officers and it should be worked into the training to work it out. It is a very tough balancing act that law enforcement officers that are doing their job have to conduct every day."
His comments came after Attorney General William Barr's message that although racism existed in the American society, it was not one of the leading causes of police brutality in law enforcement agencies. "I think there's racism in the United States still but I don't think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist," Barr told CBS on the same day. "I understand the distrust, however, of the African American community given the history in this country."
The recurrent viewpoint was echoed by acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf who stressed on the fact that "some" officers "abuse their jobs" and subsequently dismissed the idea that racism is a problem in law enforcement. "Painting law enforcement with a broad brush of systemic racism is really a disservice to the men and women who put on the badge, the uniform every day, risk their lives every day to protect the American people," Wolf told ABC.
Chauvin, who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes while the latter lay face down on the ground in handcuffs begging for his life, was fired and charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers, who were at the scene during Floyd's arrest and did nothing to prevent the aggressive behavior of their colleague, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
On Saturday, hundreds of people lined up to view of Floyd's casket in Raeford, North Carolina, about 20 miles from where he was born. His final resting place will be Huston, where he will be buried next to his mother, according to the Fort Bend Memorial Planning Center.