FBI Director James Comey on Sunday spoke at the International Chiefs of Police Conference in San Diego, and said that those who believe there is a police shooting epidemic of Black men “have no idea” what they’re talking about, according to ABC News.
Viral videos of police gunning down Black men, he noted before the gathering of thousands of law enforcement officials, do not an epidemic make, but serve to make the public believe that all police are untrained bigots.
“In the absence of information we have anecdotes,” Comey argued, and a “small group of videos serves as an epidemic.” He added that the broad notion that police are “violent and racist and unfair” is ill-informed.
The nation’s top cop then pressed his peers to begin to report on officer-involved shootings to prove or disprove the point or theory.
In 2017, the FBI and Justice Department will finally launch a pilot program to track police shootings and other uses of force by federal, state and local law enforcement in the U.S.
The government is woefully behind the press, which since 2015 has kept a national database of police shootings and fatalities in this country. Media outlets such as The Washington Post and The Guardian have comprehensively tracked officer-involved shootings and deaths, and The Post won a Pulitzer this year for its work.
Comey also spoke about the need for police to improve trust with the communities they serve, saying that the country will be “deeply, deeply sorry” if people stop choosing to serve as cops.
Last year, Comey blamed the rise in violent crime in some cities on the scrutiny and criticism of law enforcement.
SOURCE: ABC News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty