Ben Carson Says ‘Vast Majority Of Policemen Are Wonderful’
Carson appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss the nationwide protests against police brutality. The protests began after the death of George Floyd. A white officer with the Minneapolis Police Department pinned Floyd, an African American, to the ground and knelt on his neck.
Carson told anchor Jake Tapper that he “grew up at a time when there was real systemic racism.” The HUD secretary briefly reflected on his own experiences and said “that kind of thing is very uncommon now.”
“Are there still racists around? Absolutely. There were yesterday, there are today, and there will be tomorrow,” he noted, saying that racism still needs to be fought.
Carson added that issues in certain police departments need to be dealt with because “we have policemen who are rogue.”
“The vast majority of policemen are wonderful, but you have some who are rogue and they can go from one jurisdiction to another jurisdiction, and nobody does anything about it.”
As The Guardian reported, the protests sparked by Floyd’s death “have been marked by widespread incidents of police violence.” Officers across the nation have violently cracked down on demonstrators, injuring thousands. The behavior of American law enforcement has been condemned internationally and by numerous domestic organizations.
Carson was also asked about President Donald Trump’s response to the protests. Tapper pointed out that Trump may not be in favor of a national healing, given that he retweeted a post attacking Floyd’s character. Carson dodged the anchor’s questions, saying that Trump will personally address the issue next week.
Some have urged Trump to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric. As Politico noted, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — who served under Republican President George W. Bush — said that the president should “put tweeting aside” and do his best to unite the nation.
Protesters and activists have advocated for sweeping reforms, with some calling on leaders to defund police departments. Similar calls have become a rallying cry at protests across the nation, but most Americans apparently disagree with the suggestion. According to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll released last week, 65 percent of Americans are opposed to such measures.
This does not seem to be a partisan issue, given that Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters all oppose defunding police departments.
Similarly, an NPR/Marist poll from earlier this week found that 56 percent of Americans believe police are either behaving appropriately or not being aggressive enough during the Floyd demonstrations.