By Jack Jenkins
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell weighed in on America’s ongoing struggles with race on Sunday, saying he was “not that surprised” by reports of racism in local police departments and asking law enforcement officials to do more fight against prejudice.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Colin Powell, the country’s first African American Secretary of State, was speaking about the historical context surrounding President Obama’s recent speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights march in Selma, Alabama. After expressing concerns about the negative effects of controversial voter ID laws on minority groups, Powell was asked by Stephanopoulos to comment on a new report by the Department of Justice that claims to provide ample evidence of widespread racial bias within the Police Department and local courts in Ferguson, Missouri.
“I was shocked but not that surprised, frankly, George,” Powell said. “I know these things have existed in other parts of our country. This shouldn’t have been that great a surprise to any of us.”
Powell then addressed local law enforcement agencies across the country, asking them to reexamine their motives and methods to ensure they are not inherently discriminatory.