As Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton gear up for the South Carolina primary, the candidates are working overtime to reach out to Black voters.
Sanders recently spoke at Morehouse College, enlisting the help of rapper Killer Mike to energize young voters, while Clinton has made stops in Flint, Michigan, Harlem, and Chicago to make her appeal to African Americans.
via USA Today:
In a speech before a predominantly African-American crowd, Clinton — who was introduced by Bland’s mother Geneva Reed-Veal — expressed anger about Bland’s death. She also noted the killing of Chicago’s Laquan McDonald, whose death ignited weeks of protests after a court-ordered release of video in November showing a white officer shooting the black teen 16 times.
Bland, 28, who was from suburban Chicago, died in police custody in Waller County,Texas, days after she was arrested by a state trooper during a routine traffic stop. A medical examiner ruled Bland’s death a suicide, but family members have questioned that account and how the trooper handled the stop, which was captured on video by dash cam and a separate recording by a bystander.
Clinton paid tribute to Reed-Veal, who has become an outspoken advocate for police reform since her daughter’s death, and promised to take up the cause of police reform if elected.
“We owe it to them to reform police practices to ensure that…no one is pulled over in their car for no good reason and then thrown into a jail where she’s found dead,” Clinton said. “We owe it to the families of young men like Laquan McDonald and the others whose names we know all too well— Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, so many others.”
The appearance with Reed-Veal in Chicago came the day after Clinton delivered a major address in New York on combating issues of racial injustice in the country, and as she seeks to boost her advantage over Sanders for the black vote.
“As Sandra Bland’s mother, I know a little something about frustration,” Reed-Veal said. “(Clinton knows) you have to stand and push through.”