Bill Clinton on protests: 'We have to make people feel that everybody matters again'

Story highlights

  • Clinton spoke in reference to protests of black men being killed at the hands of law enforcement
  • Clinton was interview by CNN Español's Juan Carlos Lopez
  • He was in Miami for the Clinton Foundation "Future of the Americas" summit
The full interview with Bill Clinton will air on CNN Español at 6 p.m. ET Friday

Washington (CNN)Former President Bill Clinton reflected on the months of protests that have swept across America in response to the deaths unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement, saying in an interview airing Friday that the country needs to make "people feel that everybody matters again."

"The fundamental problem you have anywhere is when people think their lives and the lives of their children don't matter, they they are somehow disposable, just like a paper napkin after a lunch at a restaurant or something," Clinton told CNN En Español. "If we want our freedom to be in deed as well as word in America, we have to make people feel that everybody matters again."
Clinton, who was in Miami for the Clinton Foundation "Future of the Americas" summit, argued that the two issues at play in the protests were whether law enforcement made the correct decisions and how police departments can improve their relationships with communities.
    In the last three weeks, grand juries have cleared police officers in the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.
    Clinton argued that in both cases, policing was an issue.
    "There is not any question in Ferguson, whatever the findings of the grand jury, if the law enforcement officer had not gone after the man and felt compelled to shoot him, he would be alive," Clinton said.
    And on Garner in Staten Island, Clinton was clear to point out that "police policy was against putting someone in a choke hold."
    During the interview with Juan Carlos Lopez at the University of Miami, Clinton spoke at length about foreign policy throughout the Americas and the recent release of the CIA torture report.
    "I think this is just the beginning," the former president said. "There will now be a real effort to find out what the details were and whether or not any other action is appropriate in that."
    Clinton has been getting used to playing second (or possibly third) fiddle in his family. Clinton's wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is widely seen as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and the recent birth of Chelsea Clinton's first child, Charlotte, has been the fascination of many.
    As is the case with every interview, Bill Clinton was asked about his wife's presidential aspirations and when, in particular, Hillary Clinton expects to announce her candidacy.
    "I don't even know if she is going to run," Bill Clinton said. "But if she, sometime next year I think she will make a decision and announce it."
    The full interview with Bill Clinton will air on CNN Español at 6 p.m. ET Friday and on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.