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Eric Holder: ‘We As A Nation Have Failed’

Thursday on MSNBC’s “The Reid Report,” outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder said  “We as a nation have failed,” to address the mistrust between black communities and the police.

“I don’t think they should fear the police,” Holder said. “But I certainly think we have to build up a better relationship between young people, people of color, and people in law enforcement. There is — there’s distrust that exists on both sides. There’s misunderstanding that exists on both sides. And we have to come up with ways in which we bridge those gaps so that people don’t demonize other people so that people understand on both sides they’re people trying to do the best that they can. We’re not at a stage where I can honestly say, you know, truthfully say that if you’re a person of color, you should not be concerned about any interaction that you have with the police in the same way I can’t say to a police officer, shouldn’t worry about what community you are being asked to operate in.”

When Reid asked about a 2001 case in New York in which officers were acquitted in the killing of a young west African immigrant and at that time, Holder issued a memorandum saying there is “mistrust between black communities and police that needed to be bridged.”

“It means that we as a nation have failed,” he continued. “It’s as simple as that. We have failed. We have understood that these issues have existed long before even that 2001 memorandum by that then young deputy attorney general. These are issues we’ve been and it’s why we have to seize this opportunity that we now have. We have a moment in time. That we can, perhaps, come up with some meaningful change. It’s what I’m committed to doing, even in the limited time I have left as Attorney General and I’ll certainly continue to do it after I leave office. It’s what this administration is committed to.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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