GEORGE Bush has said it is time for America to "examine our tragic failures" and called the protests that have gripped the nation over the past few days a "strength".
The former president released a lengthy statement a week after George Floyd died in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest.
Floyd's death, which have sparked protests across the world, and Bush called on Americans to listen to the "grieving" black community.
"It is a strength when protesters, protected by responsible law enforcement, march for a better future," he wrote in the statement published on Tuesday.
"This tragedy — in a long series of similar tragedies — raises a long overdue question: How do we end systemic racism in our society?
"We can only see the reality of America's need by seeing it through the eyes of the threatened, oppressed, and disenfranchised,” he continued.
Bush's comments come as the mother of Floyd's six-year-old daughter spoke to the press.
"He was a good man," said Roxie Washington, in a news conference in Minneapolis on Tuesday. "I'm here for my baby and I'm here for George because I want justice."
Floyd's daughter Gianna was standing by her mother, who choked back tears as she demanded justice for the 46-year-old, who died last week.
"I don't have a lot to say, I can't get the words together right now. I want everyone to know that this is what those officers took from me," she said, referencing their daughter.
"At the end of the day, they get to go home and be with their families. Gianna does not have a father. He will never see her grow up, graduate, he will never walk her down the aisle.
"If there's a problem and she needs her dad, she does not have that anymore."
In his statement, Bush did not discuss President Trump's threat to deploy the National Guard to areas where protests were continuing, but added it was the country's responsibility to achieve "justice for all".
"We know that lasting justice will only come by peaceful means. Looting is not liberation, and destruction is not progress.
He added: "But we also know that lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice.
"The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all."
"There is a better way — the way of empathy, and shared commitment, and bold action, and a peace rooted in justice,” Bush concluded. “I am confident that together, Americans will choose the better way.”
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