On Monday, Hillary Clinton met with the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and several other young Black men whose deaths sparked nationwide protests and a national debate over police brutality. The meeting took place in a Chicago café. Among those present were the mothers of Trayvon Martin, who was killed in 2012 by self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman while walking home from a convenience store; Michael Brown, who was shot to death in 2014 by policeman Darren Wilson; Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was killed by police while playing with a toy gun; and Jordan Davis, who was shot by Michael Dunn during an argument over loud music at a gas station in 2012. Clinton has had to deflect inane sexism, like questions about whether she can be a grandmother and a national leader, but her meeting turns her status as a mother and grandmother into an asset. Over two hours, Clinton and her guests talked about her plans for gun control and criminal-justice reform. The Black Lives Matter movement sprang from protests against racial bias in policing and the use of excessive or deadly force by police.
In August, Clinton was criticized for her lack of solutions for biased law enforcement policies when she met with two leading figures in the Black Lives Matter movement and suggested that it is the responsibility of community leaders, rather than legislators, to create change. Last week, protesters interrupted a Clinton rally for nearly 15 minutes, chanting Janelle Monáe’s protest song “Hell You Talmbout.” Clinton responded by stating that some of the protesters’ demands were things she “intended to fight for as president.” According to CNN, Clinton did not make any explicit promises during the meeting, but she did express support for the women's causes. Samaria Rice, Tamir Rice's mom, told CNN that "she is a mother and she is a woman, and I felt she understood where we were coming from. It doesn't matter what color we are; I felt that she really understands where we are coming from."