White House press secretary Josh Earnest was pressed on Monday by a Canadian reporter on whether the recent police-involved killings in the United States represent "purely a racist behavior" on behalf of officers.
Earnest began his response by praising the "vast majority" of cops.
“I think what it is, is that, it’s something thats hard to generalize. I’m going to start by saying that it’s the view of the president and it’s the view of the administration that the vast majority of law enforcement officers all across the United States do an excellent job and they pursue their work with professionalism and the kind of fairness that we expect from those in authority,” Earnest said.
Earnest said police officers put their lives on the line to protect their communities, but also said the “trust” between police and “some communities” has been “ruptured.”
“It requires leadership on the part of elected officials, on the part of leaders in the community, on the part of law enforcement officers…to try to address that trust, or lack of trust,” he added. “That lack of trust doesn’t serve the interests of anybody."
Tensions between police and some communities remains high following the death of Freddie Gray, who died after suffering a spine injury while in Baltimore police custody. Violent protests in Baltimore on Saturday resulted in multiple arrests and property damage.