Meeting top New York City police officials, Hillary Clinton said Thursday the nation needs to work together to repair rifts between police officers and the communities they serve and guard against more discord.
The Democratic presidential nominee met eight chiefs of police to try refuting accusations the day before by Donald Trump, her Republican opponent, that she was “against the police” following a police shooting in Milwaukee.
“We have to be clear-eyed about the challenges we face. We can’t ignore them and certainly we must not inflame them,” Clinton said at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “We need to work together to bridge our divides, not stoke even more divisiveness.”
Clinton has made criminal justice reform a central piece of her candidacy and has been frequently joined by a group of black women who lost a child to gun violence or by police. Trump has presented himself as the law-and-order candidate who will stick by police as they are attacked by groups such as Black Lives Matter.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said after the meeting that Clinton “and her allies’ anti-police rhetoric show she cares more about protecting criminals over keeping America safe.”
Clinton was joined at the round-table discussion by retiring New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton and his successor, Chief James O’Neill. Also attending were Los Angeles Police Chief Charles Beck; former police chief Charles Ramsey of Philadelphia and law enforcement leaders from Seattle; Tucson, Arizona; Camden, N.J.; and Dallas, Texas.