- The Washington Times - Friday, July 8, 2016

Likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Friday said white people have to start listening to “legitimate cries” coming from the black community, pointing out that she has said repeatedly on the campaign trail there needs to be more “love and kindness.”

“I will call for white people like myself to put ourselves in the shoes of those African-American families 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,” Mrs. Clinton said in an interview on CNN.

“I’m going to be talking to white people. I think we’re the ones who have to start listening to the legitimate cries that are coming from our African-American fellow citizens,” she said.

Mrs. Clinton spoke after five law enforcement officers were killed and seven other officers injured Thursday in an attack in Dallas. The shootings occurred at the conclusion of a Black Lives Matter protest held in the wake of the deaths of two black men at the hands of police earlier in the week.

“We can’t be engaging in hateful rhetoric or incitement of violence — we need to be bringing people together,” Mrs. Clinton said. “I’ve said on the campaign trail repeatedly we need more love and kindness, and I know that’s not usually what presidential candidates say, but I believe it and I’m going to be speaking about it from now all the way into the White House and beyond.”

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton questioned whether the circumstances surrounding the death of Philando Castile, who died at the hands of police Wednesday during a traffic stop, would have played out in the same way had the passengers been white.

Alton Sterling, who like Castile was black, had been killed at the hands of police a day earlier in Louisiana.

Asked if she agreed with Mr. Dayton, Mrs. Clinton said she supported his call for a Justice Department investigation.

“We’ve got to figure out what is happening when routine traffic stops, when routine arrests escalate into killings, and I don’t think that we know all the answers for that,” she said.

Asked again if she agreed with the governor’s contention, Mrs. Clinton said: “We’ll have to find where the evidence leads us.”

“But the facts are clear and the governor knows those facts, that too many African-Americans have been killed in encounters with police over matters that should not have led to that action being taken,” she said.

She also pointed out that police in Dallas were protecting a peaceful protest and actually moved toward danger once the shooting started.

“We’ve got to do a lot more to bring the police together with the communities that they protect,” she said. “And we have to have better lines of communication…we need national guidelines to really set out when force should be used, and especially when deadly force should be used.”

She said some police departments “have really taken that to heart” and have done an excellent job over the last several years trying to figure out how to prevent any situation from escalating into the use of force.

“And at the same time, we need communities to feel that they can trust the police, that the police are trying to protect them,” she said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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