Hillary Clinton Speaks on Baton Rouge Shooting

kim kardashian

Hillary Clinton addressed the recent Baton Rouge Shooting in which three police officers were killed along with another three wounded at an NAACP conference this Monday.

“This madness has to stop,” she asserted.

“Watching the news from Baton Rouge yesterday, my heart broke. Not just for those officers and their grieving families, but for all of us. We have difficult, painful, essential work ahead of us to repair the bonds between our police and our communities and between and among each other. We need one another to do this work and we need leaders, like the NAACP.”

From there, she continued on to condemn the “terrible crime” that is the killing of police officers. “As president, I will bring the full weight of the law to bear and making sure those who kill police officers are brought to justice.”

This is an interesting promise to push, considering those who do kill police officers often don’t survive the crushing force that is “the full weight of the law.”

Micah Johnson, who killed five Dallas officers, was killed in a stand-off with police following the attack. In this case, the gunman in Baton Rouge, who was identified as Gavin Long, was shot and killed during a shoot-out with police.

It seems as if these types of perpetrators don’t have a problem being held accountable, but she powered forward with her spiel about the importance of law enforcement regardless. She did, however, mention the need for criminal justice and policing reforms, among other things.

“Let’s admit it, there is clear evidence that African- Americans are disproportionately killed in police incidents compared to any other group and African-American men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men convicted of the same offenses.

These facts tell us something is profoundly wrong. We can’t ignore that, we can’t wish it away. We have to make it right. That means end-to-end reform in our criminal justice system, not half measures, but a full commitment with real follow-through.”

What does Hillary Clinton’s idea of criminal justice reform look like? According to her, it means strengthening bonds of trust between police and the communities they’re policing, ending the era of mass incarceration and promoting the successful reintegration of people who were formerly incarcerated.

Among the remedies she has suggested for the ending of mass incarceration, she has mentioned reforming mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent offenses, ending privatized prisons, and abolishing the school-to-prison pipeline.

Clinton has previously received a large amount of backlash for her support for her husband’s 1994 crime bill which played a key role in mass incarceration. She publicly denounced the bill, though she admitted she thought some aspects of the bill “worked well.”

The skepticism surrounding Clinton’s comments makes sense. During her previous campaigning for the bill, she notably referred to black children with dehumanizing language, saying:

“They are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first, we have to bring them to heel.”

The campaign trail has been rocky for Clinton due to her political history. In an early encounter with an activist who confronted her about her past words, insisting that she “apologize to black people for mass incarceration,” she was noticeably dismissive.

“You know what? Nobody’s ever asked me before. You’re the first person to do that, and I’m happy to address it,” she said. As the woman was escorted out, she proceeded to address something different.

Clinton’s adjustments to the policies she has chosen to promote during her presidential campaign have come across as calculating and deceitful to many—a ploy to obtain the black vote. Will Hillary Clinton’s words align with her actions if she is to win the presidency? Will her promise to uproot the destructive policies her husband implemented during his time in office hold true?

 

About Ramona Watson

I am 20-years-old with a deep love for all things pertaining to women and gender, sociology, and the English language. Outside of work, I usually can be found sharing and overanalyzing music with friends, scouring comic and book stores for things to add to an impossibly long reading list, and catching up on said reading list in what can only be described as “slow motion.” I also indulge in my fair share of Netflix and Rick and Morty re-runs when I can spare the time.

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