FBI Director James Comey gave an impassioned defense of police officers yesterday, saying most are overwhelmingly good people working in a “uniquely difficult time in American law enforcement,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Speaking at the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in San Diego, Comey pushed back at the narrative forming in the U.S. that “biased police are killing black men at epidemic rates.” He said the emerging narrative was driven by video images of “real and gut wrenching misconduct,” but also on perceived misconduct. He cautioned that there were only a small number of videos and not yet enough data to show whether police shootings were more pervasive in some communities than others.
“In the absence of information, we have anecdotes, we have videos, we have good people believing something terrible is happening in this country,” he said. “In a nation of almost one million sworn law enforcement officers, and tens of millions of police encounters every year, a small group of videos serves as proof an epidemic.” He added, “There are bad cops. There are departments with troubled cultures. Unfortunately, people are flawed. But for law enforcement, the spotlight is brighter, and the standards are higher. And that’s the way it should be.”