Hillary Clinton: There’s ‘Systemic Racism in Our Criminal Justice System’

By CNSNews.com Staff | January 18, 2016 | 10:15 AM EST

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(CNSNews.com) - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in last night’s Democratic presidential debate in Charleston, S.C., that “there needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.”

Clinton was responding to a question by NBC anchor Lester Holt, who referenced the case of Walter Scott. Scott was an African American man who was killed in April when a North Charleston police officer shot the unarmed Scott in the back as he was running away. The officer had stopped Scott for having a broken tail light on the vehicle he was driving.

The shooting was caught on videotape by a witness.

The now-former police officer is currently waiting trial for murder.

Here is Holt's question and Clinton's answer:

Lester Holt:  "Secretary Clinton, this is a community that has suffered a lot of heartache in the last year. Of course, as you mentioned, the church shootings. We won't forget the video of Walter Scott being shot in the back while running from police. We understand that a jury will decide whether that police officer was justified. But it plays straight to the fears of many African American men that their lives are cheap. Is that perception or, in your view, is it reality?"

Hillary Clinton: "Well, sadly it's reality. And it has been heartbreaking and incredibly outraging to see the constant stories of young men like Walter Scott, as you said, who have been killed by police officers. There needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system. And that requires a very clear agenda for retraining police officers, looking at ways to end racial profiling, finding more ways to really bring the disparities that stalk our country into high relief.

"One out of three African American men may well end up going to prison. That's the statistic. I want people here to think what we would be doing if it was one out of three white men. And very often, the black men are arrested, convicted and incarcerated for offenses that do not lead to the same results for white men. So we have a very serious problem that we can no longer ignore."