Bernie Sanders believes that racism plays a major role in the deaths of unarmed Blacks by the hands of police. The presidential hopeful responded to the grand jury’s decision to not issue indictments in Sandra Bland’s case.
On Dec. 21, it was announced that a grand jury in Texas would not indict any police officers after she was discovered dead in her jail cell. Her death occurred hours after she was pulled over by police for simply failing to use a turn signal when switching lanes. Dash-cam video showed officers using excessive force in a case that should have merely ended with a traffic ticket. Bland was taken to jail and didn’t leave alive.
In a statement, Sanders suggested that Bland died only because she was a Black woman. “There’s no doubt in my mind that she, like too many African-Americans who die in police custody, would be alive today of she were a White woman. We need to reform a very broken criminal justice system,” Sanders said.
The killings of unarmed Black people by the hands of police has sparked outrage across the nation. In 2015, cases such as Laquan McDonald (Chicago); Jamar Clark (Minnesota); Anthony Hill (Dekalb County, Ga.); and others have proven that police killings of Blacks are a national problem. Until the nation admits this problem, America will continue to allow police to treat Blacks like second class citizens.