Hillary Clinton says she is pleased the Justice Department is investigating the events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and criticized the current state of America's criminal justice system.
"Now more broadly, each of us has to grapple with some hard truths about race and justice in America. Because despite all the progress we've made together, African Americans, most particularly African-American men, are still more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms," Clinton said Thursday at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston. "And when one stops and realizes a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes, what devastating consequences that has for their families and their communities and all of us."
"The United States has less than 5% of the world's population, yet we have almost 25% of the world's total prison population. Now, that is not because Americans are more violent or criminal than others around the world; in fact that is far from the facts," Clinton said. "But it is because we have allowed our criminal justice system to get out of balance. And I personally hope that these tragedies give us the opportunity to come together as a nation to find our balance again."
The former secretary of state also said she supports President Obama's proposed task force on policing, but that the issue runs deeper than elected officials.
"These tragedies did not happen in some faraway place. They didn't happen to some other people," she said. "These are our streets, our children, our fellow Americans, and our grief."
Ruby Cramer contributed reporting.