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US Attorney General Vows to Fight Race Prejudice in Police Across Nation

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The US Department of Justice will combat racial discrimination and prejudice in local police forces and uphold the rights of convicted felons, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said during a discussion about criminal justice reform in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Lynch’s remarks come after the US government has been forced to revisit the issue of police brutality and race relations following numerous high-profile police killings primarily of African-Americans and other racially motivated crimes.

"[T]his is really about being treated unfairly because of race by those who are sworn to protect you, by those who wear the uniform of protection," Lynch stated on Friday.

Lynch said the United States has come a long way in dealing with race relations, but still has "far to go" regarding issues of "fundamental fairness."

The country needs to address, Lynch added, the relationship that the minority community has with the "government at large and law enforcement in particular."

In July, President Barack Obama outlined his administration’s plan to reform the criminal and juvenile justice system by eliminating or reducing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crimes.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to supporters at organizing event at a private residence, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Glen, N.H. - Sputnik International
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Obama has also urged US states to do away with a law that prevents convicted felons from voting.

On Friday, Lynch also pledged the Justice Department would focus on helping US prisoners reenter society, and vowed to "revisit the issues of felon disenfranchisement," regarding their right to vote.

"We have to also work out ways for them [felons] to rebuild a home, we have to work out ways for them to return to not just their families and their communities but to society," Lynch said.

About 2.2 million Americans in jail and another 4.5 million on probation or parole. The United States has the largest prison population in the world, and about half of all inmates are in jail on non-violent drug-related offences, according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics.

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