Hillary Clinton, making her first public statement since grand juries in Missouri and New York refused to indict white officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men, called the criminal justice system "out of balance" and applauded federal investigations of both cases.
"We have allowed our criminal justice system to get out of balance," she said at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston, where she delivered the keynote address, The Hill reports
"And I personally hope that these tragedies give us the opportunity to come together as a nation to find our balance again."
On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the July 17 chokehold death of Eric Garner, and last week a Missouri grand jury similarly ruled in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.
"Those families and those communities deserve a full and fair accounting," Clinton said, adding she also opposed police militarization in the nation's cities.
"Weapons of war have no place on our streets," she said.
Clinton praised the Justice Department's decision to review the cases, and President Barack Obama's creation of a task force on policing
She said, however, federal funding to state and local law enforcement should be "used to bolster best practices rather than buy weapons of war that have no place in our streets or contribute to unnecessary force or arrests."
And insisting the nation has examples of police departments able to maintain safety and reduce crime without using unnecessary force or lengthy incarceration, Clinton said many communities enforce the law using "decent, honorable, brave police officers" who inspire trust and confidence.
The likely Democratic candidate for president in 2016 came under fire for her weekslong silence
after the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting that killed Brown.
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