Missouri officials criticize police chief for denying racism

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Officers at Jeremy N. Henwood memorial service in San Diego. Courtesy: Getty Images

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP/St. Louis Post-Dispatch) – A Missouri police chief received backlash from several county officials after denying the existence of systematic racism in the local police department.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Louis County Police Department Chief Mary Barton told the County Council Tuesday during a video conference that “to say there’s systemic racism in the police department is overly broad and probably not accurate.”

Many council members questioned whether Barton was capable of leading the department because of her views.

But Councilman Mark Harder said Barton was new to the position and that “when you’re brand new to leadership you begin to see the organization from a new perspective.”

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