Watch: Bernie Sanders on Black Lives Matter, militarized police and the insidious prison industrial complex

Shortly after his campaign stop in Seattle, Washington was interrupted by two Black Lives Matter activists, Bernie Sanders enlisted Symone Sanders as his national press secretary to augment his campaign’s racial justice awareness and shape related public policy.

“Clearly we have a failed criminal justice system,” he said in this interview with Little Village‘s Stacey Walker, referencing the United States’ incarceration rates, which outnumber “communist, authoritarian” China’s, adding: “lives are being destroyed every single day.”

“I don’t think people should be profiting off of the incarceration of fellow Americans,” Sanders says, and, “the bottom line is we’ve got to fight institutional racism in this country.”

Here, Sanders outlines a number of facts and changes necessary to U.S. police forces — “We need to create police departments that are seen as part of the community and are part of the community, rather than seen as oppressive forces.”:

Video: Sara Tate, PATV Channel 18, Iowa City, IA
Interview: Stacey Walker, Friday Sept. 4, 2015
Location: CSPS/Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, IA


  1. I agree with the premise that we have far too many people in prisons; however, police officers do not make the laws. They are sworn to uphold these laws that you and others in Congress made. For example marijuana, this country is owned by big business. We are not nor have we been a democracy for many years. Police do not get to decide which laws they want to enforce. They may personally disagree with the laws; however, just like the military they have taken an oath to uphold the laws of this country. The use of force matrix is set up to first try to make an arrest with the least amount of force on the use of force matrix, and that’s exactly what they do. Officers must make decisions in split seconds and when people say the suspect was unarmed when he is fighting an officer, that is simply not true. The gun the officer is carrying is up for grabs. The media and politicians supporting this ‘has done a great disservice “BLACK LIVES MATTER” movement because this organization chants “death to all white cops’ PIGS IN THE BLANKET, LET’S FRY THEM UP” I have been a long time admirer of yours, and I’m am shocked that you support this kind of hate campaign. Every day I read about another officer being murdered, ambushed, or executed. Is this really what you want to endorse??? It’s shocking. I have served both in the military and as a law enforcement officer. My son-in-law is out there right now and we never know if he is going to return to us at the end of his shift. This country has supported this attitude about law enforcement that is absolutely false. We all know the biggest killer of black males comes from other black males. I am so disappointed in you. I thought for once there is a politician that gets it. You understood what needs to be done to bring our country back. I have always voted Democratic my entire life and never once missed voting on election day. This year will be different. I realize now that I do not have a country – Not one candidate represents my values and the values of millions of other Americans. I don’t think you actually realize the gravity of this new unfounded issue that cops are a bunch of racist bullies. Officer Wilson didn’t do anything wrong. He tried to apprehend a criminal that had just committed a strong armed robbery and hit the officer in the face, went for his gun causing it to discharge in the officer’s car then tried to rush him. That officer went under the microscope and they couldn’t come up with a thing that he did wrong, yet he is the face of this movement. This man was not a choir boy on his way to college. He was a criminal – a dangerous criminal and officer Wilson had to fight for his life. This probably doesn’t affect you, because, like other politicians, you drive around with your chauffeur in a limousine. This is politics for you and votes. Down here in the real world, you and other politicians like you are responsible for all these officers that are being murdered every day. You have sanctioned and encouraged people to go after cops. I just am so disheartened and no longer feel like there is anyone in politics that represents my values. I grew up and was taught to respect the police, my teachers and to be polite and helpful to the poor and elderly. Talking about officers as if they are doing something wrong when they have to ask someone questions or make a lawful arrest. We see all these edited home made video’s that conveniently leave out any parts where it shows what truly happened and makes law enforcement officers look bad. There is a war on our law enforcement officers right now! I want you to think about that. I know what it means to have a badge and to take an oath to protect and serve my community. I knew when I took that oath that it meant I would die to protect someone else. Any officer would die protecting you and any other stranger in order to to save your life. Shame on you Mr. Sanders. I really thought you were the real deal, but your just another politician pandering for votes instead of standing up for what is right. I urge you to step out of your limo and into a squad car with an officer who patrols the absolute worst area in your district. For the first time in my life, I’m not voting at all. This is an oligarchy, but I don’t see you as the man that can change that when you sell out the very people who are trying to help our citizens.

    Miss Trimble

  2. I made a couple of typo’s but I think you understand what I meant. Michael Brown is the face of this idea of police brutality, and this organization is clear about their purpose. They want to kill white police officers. You need to stand up and make this right.

    C. Trimble

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