Earlier in the interview, President Obama discussed criminal justice reform in segments of the interview aired on “NBC Nightly News.” He stated that “Pretty much up and down the line, what we see is disparities in how white, black, Hispanic suspects are treated, higher arrest rates, tougher sentencing, longer sentences. Where it’s happening, you can’t always isolate within the system. There may be subtle biases that take place. There may be predispositions that end up resulting in these disparities, but we know they’re happening.”
Obama stated he has not seen “any evidence” of police laying back because they were afraid of being filmed and demonized, and that FBI Director James Comey, who alleged that this was happening, “would be the first to say that he’s heard anecdotal suggestions that may be happening in selective sites, but we don’t know.” Obama did concede that “some cities” have had spikes in violent crime, but violent crime is still “near the historic lows.”
President Obama stated that he hopes his successor will “be just as concerned as I am” with “issues of racial disparity and racial justice” in a preview of his interview with “NBC Nightly News” set to air on Monday.
Obama said, “I am very proud that my presidency can help to galvanize and mobilize America on behalf of issues of racial disparity and racial justice. But I do so hoping that my successor, who’s not African American, if he or she is not, that they’ll be just as concerned as I am, because this is part of what it means to perfect our union.”
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