Warren: ‘Problem of Race Right At The Heart’ of Criminal Justice System

• April 22, 2019 9:05 pm


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) argued race is at the "heart" of the problem of in the criminal justice system during a CNN town hall on Monday.

Jackson Dwyer, a student at St. Anselm College and aspiring police officer, asked Warren how she would assure him she would support legislation to protect law enforcement given her criticism of police and the criminal justice system.

Warren pivoted to address the issue of race in the criminal justice system in her response to his question.

"I talk with a lot of people in different parts of the criminal justice system, people who are in law enforcement, people who are in the judicial system, people when they're incarcerated, in various parts of it," Warren began. "And what all of them tell me is we've got a problem. Our criminal justice system is broken, and right at the heart of that problem is race. And we have to address this head on."

Warren went on to cite some studies which show African-Americans being incarcerated at higher rates than whites for doing the same crime.

"That is a criminal justice system that is not only locking up too many people. It is a criminal justice system that has a problem of race right at the heart of it and we need to call it out for what it is," Warren continued.

Last summer, Warren described the criminal justice system as "racist…front to back" while speaking at Dillard University in New Orleans.

"The hard truth about our criminal justice system, it’s racist," Warren said. "And when I say our system, I mean all the way. I mean front to back…on the front end—what you declare to be illegal—[and] on how you enforce it, on who gets arrested."

The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, one of Boston's largest police unions, refused to endorse Warren in her 2018 reelection campaign for her past criticism of law enforcement and the criminal justice system.