Bill Clinton urged people to move beyond hard-wire racial perceptions and said that the unarmed black man killed after an apparent chokehold by police in New York City “didn’t deserve to die.”
Clinton made the comments in an interview with Fusion, taped during the Clinton Foundation’s “Future of the Americas” event earlier this month. The full interview will air Tuesday night, and the portion involving police relations was released Monday.
Clinton said there are “preconceptions wired into us and we have got to get beyond them,” and added that there is a “divide that exists between the community and the police.”
“[Garner] was obviously not well, he was overweight and vulnerable therefore had lung problems, heart and lung problems,” Clinton said. “He was doing something he should not have been doing. That was illegal. He was selling untaxed cigarettes on the street in small volumes, trying to make a little extra money. But he didn’t deserve to die because of that.”