Hillary Clinton Just Took A Major Stand On Racist Policing

At Sunday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton was presented with the question of racial disparity in policing — and did not shy away from taking a stand.

Walter Scott, a Black man whose death at the hands of police, made news after it was caught on videotape. The incident happened not far from Charleston, NC, the site of the debate. “It played straight to the fears of young African-American men that their lives are cheap,” moderator Lester Holt said of the video. “Is that your perception or, in your view, is it reality?”

Clinton did not shy away from taking a stand. “Sadly, it’s a reality,” she said. “There needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system. And that requires a very clear agenda for retraining police officers, looking at ways to end racial profiling, finding more ways to really bring the disparities that stalk our country into high relief."

It’s a strong stance on an issue that strikes to the heart of many Democrats, particularly the Black community that Clinton hopes to rally. But according to The Marshall Project, Clinton’s history doesn’t obviously lead to such a stand. Many of the issues around racial disparities in policing can be traced back to policies put in place by her husband, Bill, during his term as president. Former President Clinton’s administration passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, legislation which has helped along the current era of mass incarceration and put a disproportionate burden on minorities who find themselves in the criminal justice system. As first lady, Hillary Clinton campaigned in support of the act.

“One out of three African-American men may well end up going to prison, that’s the statistic,” she said. “We have a very serious problem that we can no longer ignore.”

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