When the president that Kanye West once quipped “doesn’t care about black people” joins the movement of people calling foul in the grand jury decision not to indict the officer who choked a black New York man to death, you know times have changed.
Former president George W. Bush spoke out about Eric Garner, the man placed in an illegal chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, and the decision not to charge the officer, calling the non-indictment “sad.”
Bush said he had not delved into why a grand jury declined Wednesday to indict a police officer for Garner’s death in July, which touched off last week’s widespread protests, “but it’s sad that race continues to play such a, you know, a kind of emotional, divisive part of life.”
Bush made his comments during an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.”
He also added that his former secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, helped him understand the strained relationship between black communities and law enforcement and what the non-indictment means for said communities.
“And she said, ‘You’ve just got to understand, there’s just a lot of black folks around who are incredibly — more and more — distrusting of law enforcement,’” Bush said. “Which is a shame because law enforcement’s job is to protect everybody.”
Bush’s comments come just a week after President Obama announced he would request for Congress to provide $75 million over the next three years to help local police departments purchase up to 50,000 body cameras. The devices, worn by police during interactions with the public, were strongly backed by civil rights advocates and local police union officials aiming to document police conduct.
The public, given Garner’s videotaped death, have valid concerns about what cameras will mean for the police force. Cartoonist Kevin Eason perfectly illustrates the sentiments of Garner’s supporters with his newest piece.
Watch a portion of Bush’s interview below:
Kevin Eason is a freelance editorial cartoonist and illustrator from New Jersey. His brand of satire covers news events in politics, entertainment and sports.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Kevin Eason | VIDEO SOURCE: CNN