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Hometown Conversations: Race and the Criminal Justice System

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - As reform advocates continue to target the criminal justice system, La Crosse works to take gradual steps toward addressing how race plays into it.

In this latest edition of our Hometown Conversations, District Attorney Tim Gruenke joined with UW-La Crosse professor Suthakaran Veerasamy to work through some of the underlying factors.

"When I begin this conversation with a white person, and they say they're not a racist, they've lost me," Veerasamy said. "My experience, my life experience, my knowledge--all of that doesn't account for anything because you simply said I'm wrong. So, you get to define reality for both of us."

Gruenke said, "If we knew how to fix it, we would have done it long ago. I've been telling people, you can't slowly gain weight over years and lose it in a day. In a situation where the deck has been stacked against people of color, it's going to take time."

Watch the entire conversation above. You can also see all of these conversations at our YouTube channel.

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Dustin Luecke

Dustin Luecke anchors the News 19 6 pm and 10 pm Reports.

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