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British PM Pledges to Implement Report on Minorities in Criminal Justice System


Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of PMQs in Parliament in London, June 10, 2020.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Wednesday pledged to Parliament that he would implement recommendations from a report on the treatment of minorities in the British criminal justice system.

The 2017 report, led by opposition Labor Party lawmaker David Lammy, said that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals were more likely to go to prison for certain crimes, and outlined guidelines to reverse any racial bias in law enforcement and the courts.

During questioning with members of Parliament, Johnson was asked about the report by Opposition Labor Party Leader Keir Starmer. Starmer said he met with black community leaders, who, he said, in light of the international Black Lives Matter protests, urged Johnson to implement the results from the 3-year-old report.

Johnson said he supports the aims of Black Lives Matter, and said the government has already implemented some of the organization’s key recommendations, such as increasing the number of black and minority employees in prison services, increasing the use of body cameras by police, and trying to ensure minorities are not unfairly prosecuted.

But Johnson said it is “absolutely vital,” at the same time, to keep streets safe and support the police.

The prime minister was also asked by Scottish National Party MP Kirsty Blackman about U.S. President Donald Trump’s response to Black Lives Matter protests. Law enforcement officers in riot gear used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters from a park across from the White House two weeks ago so Trump could have a photo opportunity.

Trump also told U.S. governors he would send the U.S military to their states if they could not properly control protests.

In light of that response, Blackman wanted to know if Johnson still believed Trump has "many, many good qualities," as the prime minister has said in the past.

Johnson replied that Trump is still president of the United States “which is our most important ally in the world today. And whatever people may say about it, whatever those on the left may say about it, the United States is a bastion of peace and freedom, and has been for most of my lifetime."

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