Cory Booker Derides Criminal Justice System as ‘A Cancer on the Soul of Our Country’

Sen. Cory Booker

Sen. Cory Booker / Getty Images

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Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) referred to the U.S. criminal justice system as "a cancer on the soul of our country" during a Monday night appearance on "The Daily Show."

Host Trevor Noah asked Booker how Democrats would run the government if they regain control of the House after Tuesday's midterm elections.

Booker responded by saying he is the only senator who lives in a "black and brown inner city neighborhood," according to remarks highlighted by Mediaite. "What angers me is before we even had a Donald Trump elected, we had a cancer on the soul of our country, a criminal justice system that treats you better if you’re rich and guilty and poor and innocent," he added.

"We still had kids in my city– People think Flint, Michigan is some kind of an anomaly, there are a thousand jurisdictions which children have twice the lead blood levels than Flint, Michigan. I can go through the things that were going on before Donald Trump was elected that we seemed to tolerate in our nation, a level of injustice that, to me, is outrageous," Booker continued.

Booker also criticized Democrats and Republicans for supporting legislation like the 1994 crime bill which, he said, "exploded our criminal justice system."

The Daily Beast reported in 2014 about "corruption scandals" and "skyrocketing crime" in Newark, New Jersey during Booker's time as mayor, noting that "murder, violent crime, unemployment, and taxes all rose dramatically under his stewardship":

Despite ushering in hundreds of millions of dollars in philanthropic donations to the city, and commissioning cosmetic surgery on public parks, Newark seemed no better off under Booker than it had been under James. Having vowed to strengthen the police department, he instead cut it by 13 percent to help balance the city’s budget. Homicides and violent crime spiked dramatically. Unemployment rose and child poverty increased 32 percent. And all of this came at a price of a 20 percent tax hike for the city’s residents.

In August, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) called the criminal justice system "racist … front to back."

Watch the full "Daily Show" segment with Booker:

Jeffrey Cimmino

Jeffrey Cimmino   Email Jeffrey | Full Bio | RSS
Jeff Cimmino is a media analyst at the Washington Free Beacon. He is a senior pursuing a B.A. in history and a minor in government at Georgetown University. Prior to working at the Free Beacon, he interned at National Review and the Foreign Policy Initiative.

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