Karl Rove: The days of 'lock 'em up and throw away the key' are long gone
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GOP strategist Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveSarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Giuliani won't be part of Trump defense at Senate trial Officials brace for second Trump impeachment trial MORE says in a new interview that the time of punitive criminal justice policies is coming to an end, as activists across the country have called in recent days for reforms to policing and the legal system.

In an interview with Politico, the former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush said that such policies were not "sufficient" for the modern era.

“There will always be some hard asses on the Republican side,” Rove said. “But the days of ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key’ are long gone. It’s just no longer sufficient.”


Rove added that he believed America had seen progress on reducing the inequalities between white and black Americans over the past several decades.

“Do white Americans feel the same pressure that black and brown families do? Do white families fear their kids will be pulled over for no reason other than the color of their skin? No. So, they’ll never relate in exactly the same way,” he continued. “But I do think they relate a lot more than they did 10 or 20 years ago. And I do think that changes the party, to some degree, moving forward."

Rove's comments come as cities across the U.S. have seen protests over the death George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd was seen on video pleading for medical attention while a white officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes despite Floyd being in handcuffs.

The video, as well as others recording violent police responses to demonstrations in cities such as Buffalo and New York City, have triggered calls for major reforms to policing and the criminal justice system.

Democrats have unveiled a sweeping set of legislative changes in response to the protests, including a federal mandate on police use of body cameras nationwide and a ban on military-style weapons for police.