Appearing on “Fox News Sunday”, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani doubled down on his controversial claim that African-Americans are the ones responsible for bad interactions with police officers.
Citing statistics showing that African-Americans are far more likely to distrust police than whites, host Chris Wallace asked Giuliani if it was fair for blacks to be wary of the cops.
“I do believe that there is more interaction and more unfair interaction among police officers, white and black, in the black community than in the white community. And I think some of that responsibility is on the police department,” Giuliani replied.
However, he continued: “But I think just as much if not more responsibility is on the black community to reduce the reason why the police officers are assigned to such large numbers to the black community. It’s because blacks commit murder eight times more per capita than any other group in our society.”
The issue of race and policing has been back on the front burner this week after a grand jury decided not to indict the white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, tipping of racially charged unrest in the St. Louis suburb.
His remarks Sunday are something of a softening from his appearance on “Meet the Press” last Sunday when he got in a heated exchange with Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson, who is African-American. “White police officers won’t be [in black neighborhoods] if you weren’t killing each other 70% of the time,” the former mayor exclaimed at one point in the tense discussion.
That exchange provoked a sharp backlash on social media and elsewhere.
On Sunday, Giuliani, who is a former federal prosecutor, also said that the Michael Brown case never should have even been brought to a grand jury. “The witnesses on the other side, not all, but almost all of them have impeachable testimony. In fact, a couple of them committed perjury,” he said.
But Giuliani also took a position that his critics might endorse. Asked what can be done to reform police practices to build trust, the former mayor said he was open to body cameras on police.
“I changed my mind on body cameras. Now i believe they are a very good idea. Because 90%, 95% of these situations, the police officers turn out to be justified. Had this police officer had a body camera, we would not be having this discussion” about Ferguson, he added.
However, he also reiterated that police forces should not stop using “stop and frisk” tactics.