'We are living in a country that has a two-tiered justice system': Rep. Ilhan Omar

ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos interviews Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., on "This Week"
8:08 | 06/01/20

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Transcript for 'We are living in a country that has a two-tiered justice system': Rep. Ilhan Omar
And we're joined now from Minneapolis, congresswoman ilhan OMAR. Thank you for joining us this morning. I know you've been in the community day and night for the last six days and urging people to stay home after the curfew. Did the National Guard get things under control last night? I think last night the community did feel safe to know that there will not be a burning of their businesses and their homes. We were obviously worried and feeling terrorized about that prospect. But there really was also many people who chose to demonstrate and not abide by the curfew, who felt like they also thought were terrorized by the presence of tanks, by the presence of the National Guard and a militarized police, and so for us, it's -- what we're trying to do is trying to figure out something between extreme aggression and ways to figure out how to not get our city burned down. It's a challenge. As you said, George, our country is in pain. People can't get that image of George Floyd having the life choked out of him by a police officer, who was supposed to protect and serve our community, but this also is a reminder that we are living in a country that has truly for a long time brutalized African-Americans, from slavery to lynching, to Jim crow, to mass incarceration and now to police brutality, and in Minneapolis, where we have one of the worst racial disparities, people are also understanding that there has been severe social and economic neglect in our communities and so we have real work to do, to heal, to begin to rebuild and to figure out a system that works for all of us. From start of these protests you've spoken out against the violence. But you've also said that we can't ask our community to peaceful if we continue not to deliver justice. One officer has been charged. In your view, what more has to be done to deliver justice here? So many a times, in Minneapolis, and across this nation, we find ourselves in this position time and time again, when police brutality takes place oftentimes, if justice is not denied it's delayed. And what people are looking for is for just justice to take place in regards to the charges for the officer that took the life of George Floyd. They also want the see charges for the other officers who stood by, idly, watching this life be taken. But also, we need nationwide reforms. We also need to make sure that the kind of investment that we are making in our communities is a real one, what we're seeing the unrest we're seeing in our nation isn't just because of the life that was taken, it's also because so many people have experienced this. So many people have experienced injustices within our system. So many people know the social and economic neglect. We are living in a country that has a two-tiered justice system and people are tired of -- people are sick and tired of being sick and tired. And we need to really step back and say to ourselves, where do we actually go from here? And that can't just be getting justice for George Floyd. It needs to be bigger than that. How do you explain how so many of the protests across the country exploded into violence over the last several days. We've seenresident trump, he's blaming it on far-left thugs and antifa. There are other -- the mayor of St. Paul has suggested there have been outside instigators from the far right. What information did you have about who was joining these protests that had started out as peaceful? And so not just here in the United States, but across the world, when we see unrest take place, it's often the people saying they have had enough. And they want bold and systematic change to take place so they can feel like their voices are heard. This is what happens when people are tired, just marching every single day, just to have their humanity be recognized. And what we also know to be true not just here, but across the world, is that there are people who exploit the pain that communities are feeling and ignite violence. In Minneapolis, we have marched, we have protested, we have organized, and when we see people setting our buildings and our businesses ablaze we know those are not people who are interested in protecting black lives. They might say they care about black lives but they're not interested in protecting black lives, because when you set a fire you risk -- you risk the community that you're saying you're standing up for. You faced threats inspired by president trump in the past, what would you like to hear from him now? The mayor of Washington, D.C., just recently addressed the nation and in her remarks, she talked about how there was a kind of leadership that could have been displayed by Donald Trump and that leadership has not been displayed and now she said, we look to one another for that leadership. Many people in our communities are moving on and deciding they themselves are going to show up as leaders, they are going to push for the kind of systematic change that we need. They're going to ask for people to work together to rebuild our communities, they are going to be vigilant and make sure that they are protecting one another. This president has failed in really understanding the kind of pain and anguish many of his citizens are feeling. When you have a president who really is glorifying violence, who's talking about the kind of vicious dogs and weapons that could be unleashed on citizens, it's quite appalling and disturbing. We condemn other nations when their presidents make those kind of statements when there's unrest in their countries, and we have to condemn our president at the highest sort of condemnation. Congresswoman OMAR, thank you for your time this morning. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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