The White House has admitted that the US justice system needs to be reformed as there is a lack of fairness and equality for many communities in the United States.
"There is good reason for us to consider some of the aspects of the criminal justice system right now that raise concerns in many communities across the country about whether the principals and precepts of our legal system are fairly applied to everyone across the country,” the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said at a press briefing on Friday.
Earnest called for “common sense” reforms which he said could be supported by both Republican and Democratic members of Congress.
He said there should be reforms to sentencing laws for people who end up being convicted of non-violent drug offenses.
“I think people have raised legitimate concerns about whether or not those individuals are best served and whether the country is best served by these individuals spending decades in prison,” he stated.
Earnest’s comments came as massive protests are being held in cities across the United States over the death of an African-American man in police custody.
Freddie Gray, 25, died of severe spinal injuries on April 19, a week after he was arrested and detained by Baltimore police. Six police officers, who were involved in Gray’s arrest, were suspended and were later charged in connection to the incident.
Gray’s death has triggered angry protests in many American cities, with protesters demanding justice and equality for African Americans.
The recent protests are the latest in a string of nationwide demonstrations over the deaths of a number of other black people by white police officers and grand juries’ decisions not to indict the officers.