It was an unprecedented speech on Lincoln’s Birthday as James B. Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) gave a frank, eye opening speech about Law Enforcement and Race at Georgetown University. Speaking in a hall named after Father Patrick Francis Healy, an ex-slave who later became the first Black Jesuit priest and the first African-American Persident of Georgetown and a pioneering African-American who headed a predominantly white university, FBI Director Comey talked frankly about the problems of police law enforcement and the minority community – both in past American history and today’s present times. Director Comey called on the nation’s law enforcement personnel and the citizens they serve to participate in a frank and open conversation about the disconnect that exists in places like New York City and Ferguson, Missouri—and many communities across the country—between police agencies and many citizens, particularly in communities of color.
In his remarks, Comey said the police encounters involving Michael Brown and Eric Garner—both African-Americans—the ensuing protests across the country, and the murders of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos had put the fundamental relationship between police and communities at a crossroads. Director Comey’s speech, entitled “Hard Truths: Law Enforcement and Race,” sought to move the ongoing debate about race and the character of law enforcement officers to a more productive footing, where police and citizens acknowledge a few elemental “truths” in an effort to better understand each other. The remarks began by acknowledging law enforcement’s own spotty history, including police bias a century ago against Irish immigrants—from whom Comey descended—and the FBI’s surveillance of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While exerts from Comey’s provocative and thought provoking speech was aired on cable news, Afternoons with Amos and Praise Indy.com are the only media that aired and presented the speech in its entirety. After airing the speech, Afternoons with Amos opened up its phone lines for listener and community reaction to it. Click the Video Player Above to hear this Groundbreaking talk about law enforcement and attitudes and towards race and culture in America. Click the Media Player Below to hear Indianapolis’ Reaction to the FBI Director’s Speech. Runs 47 Minutes ©2015 WTLC/Radio One.