CINCINNATI — Hillary Clinton on Monday called for “all good people” to speak out “loudly and clearly” against violence after the killings of police officers in Baton Rouge.
"This madness has to stop," Clinton said at the annual NAACP conference. "We have difficult, painful, essential work ahead of us to repair the bonds between our police and our communities and between and among each other.”
Responding to tragedy in speeches like this has become commonplace for Clinton in recent weeks. She gave similar remarks after five police officers were killed in Dallas earlier this month. Hours before that shooting happened, she was set to give a speech about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both black men fatally shot by police this month.
“All of this tells us very powerfully that we have to change. Many police officers across the country agree with that. But it can only happen if we build trust and accountability and let’s admit it--that gets harder every time someone else is killed,” she said.
“Now is the time for all good people who agree that the senseless killings must end to stand up and speak out loudly and clearly.”
Clinton also used her speech to knock her general election opponent, Donald Trump, who declined an invitation to speak at the same conference. Clinton slammed what she called divisive rhetoric and said the country needs a president “who can help pull us together, not split us apart.”
The speech kicked off a series of counter-programming events to the Republican National Convention. Clinton will be speaking at five events total during the first two days of the RNC.
“We all know about that other convention happening up in Cleveland today. Now, my opponent in this race may have a different view, but there’s nowhere I’d rather be than right here with all of you,” she said.
To close, an emotional Clinton quoted the Facebook post of one of the officers killed Sunday in Baton Rouge. "He wrote so honestly and powerfully about the struggle of being black and wearing blue in today’s America,” Clinton said. “That, my friends, is the strength of America. Men like Montrell Jackson.”