George W. Bush talks to CNN about race riots: Garner decision ‘hard to understand’

George W. Bush told CNN’s Candy Crowley that he is struggling to understand the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner.

In a preview of Sunday’s “State of the Union” interview, the former president said it was “hard to understand” why the New York City police officer will not be held responsible for the July death of the heavyset 43-year-old father of six.

“There are those who say race seems to be more of a problem with what a lot of people termed a post-racial presidency,” Crowley said. “When you saw what happened in the streets of New York, in the video, what did you think?”

“I thought ‘how sad,’” Bush said. “You know, the verdict was hard to understand. 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 believes relations have improved since the race riots of the 1970s, when people were burning down cities. He chatted about it with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over dinner a few night ago.

“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 told Crowley. “Which is a shame, because law enforcement’s job is to protect everybody.”

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Michele Kirk


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