Former President George W. Bush says a New York grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who choked and killed Eric Garner was “hard to understand.”
The 43rd President admitted that he has not ‘seen all the details’ that led to a Staten Island grand jury deciding not to indict the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, in the death of Eric Garner. During an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley, Bush said his reaction to watching video of the incident that led to Garner’s death was “how sad.”
“You know, the verdict was hard to understand,” he said. “But I hadn’t seen all the details — but it’s sad that race continues to play such an emotional, divisive part of life.”
Bush said he spoke his former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about it,
“We talked about this subject, and yeah — she just said, you gotta understand that there are a lot of black folks that are incredibly, more and more, distrusting of law enforcement,” Bush said. “Which is a shame, because law enforcement’s job is to protect everybody.
“When it comes to police officers, I believe that learning to undo racism is just as important as learning first aid. Police officers in Duluth who have attended People’s Institute training often act differently in situations where issues of racism come up. They are less likely to personalize the situation. Instead of becoming defensive, they will show more empathy. Officers who haven’t gone through the workshop often make the situation with community worse” Robert Grytdahl, Duluth Human Rights Officer, Retired Duluth Deputy Police Chief.
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