Hillary Clinton on Friday called for the nation to come together in the aftermath of an ambush that killed five police officers in Dallas, Texas, warning that this “absolutely horrific event” — coupled with a series of recent shootings involving police officers — “should worry every single American.”
“This is the kind of call to action, and as president, I would implement the very comprehensive set of proposals that I’ve been making for more than a year,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “We must do more to have national guidelines about the use of force by police, especially deadly force.”
Clinton also called on communities across the country to show more “respect” to the police, as she paid tribute to the officers who risked and lost their lives in Dallas.
“Look at what happened in Dallas. Those police officers were protecting a peaceful protest … that is a hallmark of America,” she said. “And when the shooting started and everyone else was fleeing, the police were moving toward danger.”
But Clinton also warned that there was a “terrible disconnect” between police officers and the people they are meant to protect. She explicitly stated that some African-Americans are dying as a result of “systemic” and “implicit bias.”
“Too many African-Americans shave been killed in encounters with police over matters that should not have led to that action being taken,” she said.
Clinton called on white Americans to put themselves in the shoes of blacks “who fear every time their children go somewhere; who have to have the talk about how to really protect themselves when they’re the ones who should be expecting protection from encounters with the police.”
“I’m going to be talking to white people — I think we’re the ones who have to have to start listening to the legitimate cries that are coming from our African-American fellow citizens,” she said.
The Dallas shooting occurred in the middle of a peaceful demonstration Thursday on the streets of downtown Dallas. The protest was a part of the national uproar over two African-American men — Alton Sterling and Philando Castile — who were shot and killed by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively, this week.
The two shootings, followed by the Dallas ambush, have once against thrust the issue of police violence against non-whites into the political spotlight in the middle of a contentious presidential election.
The Clinton campaign canceled a joint rally with Vice President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania, scheduled for earlier Friday, citing the “tragic events” in Dallas. It marked the second time in a month that it had canceled a major rally following a shooting — in June, it pushed back an event with President Barack Obama in the aftermath of a terrorist attack at an Orlando nightclub that killed 49 people.
The former secretary of state was in touch with local Dallas public officials and leaders Friday, including Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, according to an aide.
Clinton’s rival, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump, also scrapped campaign stops in Miami, staying put in New York City, instead.
“We must restore law and order. We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street,” Trump said in a statement.
The national outrage has also spurred fresh debate about gun control on Capitol Hill, where black lawmakers on Friday delivered an emotional plea for stricter gun control measures.