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CIA Director William Burns lauded the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd last month as “one step forward” in “addressing the broader trauma of racism and persistent inequity in our nation” in a memo to agency staff, The Federalist reported Monday.
Burns, a career diplomat who served in the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations, also pledged to prioritize “accountability” and “progress on diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The agency did not immediately return a request by the Post to confirm the memo’s existence or comment on the appropriateness of the CIA director discussing domestic criminal trials.
Chauvin was convicted April 20 of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of Floyd, who died on May 25 of last year.
Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds while attempting to subdue and arrest him.
The deadly encounter was captured on video and sparked a summer of racial unrest across America.
The CIA was already under fire for alleged inappropriate “wokeism” after it posted a recruitment video on Twitter featuring a 36-year-old Latina officer who narrated: “I am a woman of color, I am a mom, I am a cisgender millennial who’s been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder … I am intersectional.”
The video drew a furious response from right-wingers on social media, and words of caution from former CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
“I want my officers to be unapologetically competent,” Pompeo told “Fox News Primetime” Monday night.
“I want them to be brave. I want them to be daring. I want them to execute the mission. I don’t want them to be about ‘I’ or ‘me’. I want them to be about the team.”
“I’m happy to have people from whatever gender, whatever race, all good,” added Pompeo, who served as CIA director between January 2017 and April 2018.
“In the end, the CIA should be recruiting on the fact that it is an unbelievably important institution … We shouldn’t be talking about being woke as an attempt to recruit people. It’s an enormous mistake. Frankly, we’ll end up with less talented people if we focus on wokeism and not on competence and the mission set that the CIA has.”