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Bill Clinton on Eric Garner: 'He didn't deserve to die'

Former President Bill Clinton reflected on race relations in America after weeks of protests against police brutality broke out across the country.

In an interview at the Clinton Foundation’s “Future of the Americas” summit in Miami, the former president said that race equality has improved but there are still “preconceptions wired into us and we have got to get beyond them.”

In the last three weeks, grand juries have cleared police officers in the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York. This weekend thousands of protesters took to the streets in New York City and Washington, DC in what came to be known as the #MillionMarchNYC demonstration.

Clinton spoke with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos on Thursday and said the case of Eric Garner shows “the 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. 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.”

The “Future of the Americas” summit brought together business, non-profit, educational, and political leaders to improve cooperation on key issues facing the Western Hemisphere. The full interview will air on Fusion’s “AMERICA with Jorge Ramos” Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 10 p.m.

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