Bernie Sanders: Sandra Bland Would Not Have Died In Police Custody If She Were White

"We need to reform a very broken criminal justice system."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) weighed in on a Texas grand jury's decision not to indict jailers or anyone from the county sheriff's office in the death of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died while she was in police custody in July.

Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, said that Bland would be alive if she were white.

"Sandra Bland should not have died while in police custody. There's no doubt in my mind that she, like too many African-Americans who die in police custody, would be alive today if she were a white woman," he said in a statement Tuesday. "My thoughts are with her family and loved ones tonight. We need to reform a very broken criminal justice system."

Sanders has released a criminal justice platform that includes demilitarizing police forces and ending mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders. The Vermont senator also privately met with Bland's mother earlier this year, but didn't publicize it at all.

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