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Clinton On Police Murders: 'This Madness Has To Stop'

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the NAACP National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 18, 2016.
AFP/Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the NAACP National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 18, 2016.

A day after three police officers were murdered in Baton Rouge, La., presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton denounced that and the recent attacks on police officers in Dallas, Texas.

"This madness has to stop. Watching the news from Baton Rouge yesterday, my heart broke. Not just for those officers and their grieving families, but for all of us," said Clinton before a meeting of African-American leaders at the NAACP's annual convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Between the assaults on police officers and two recent closely-watched deaths of African-American men at the hands of police, Clinton has sought to balance the concerns of multiple constituencies at once.

"Killing police officers is a terrible crime. That's why our laws treat this so seriously, because they represent the rule of law itself," said Clinton, who promised that, if elected, she would "bring the full weight of the law to bear" on those who attack the police.

While condemning the murders of police officers, Clinton also said Americans need to confront the country's history of racial bias.

"We white Americans need to do a better job of listening when African-Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers yu face every day," said Clinton.

250 miles away from Clinton's speech, Republicans were kicking off their convention in Cleveland with an opening night theme of "Make America Safe Again."

Clinton once again accused presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump of not being up to the job of president.

"We need a president who can help pull us together, not split us apart," said Clinton. "The Republican nominee for president will do the exact opposite."

Trump declined an opportunity to speak at the NAACP convention, a break with tradition from most recent election years when the nominees of both parties have spoken before the civil rights group's gathering.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
Brett Neely is an editor with NPR's Washington Desk, where he works closely with NPR Member station reporters on political coverage and edits stories about election security and voting rights.