Hillary Clinton made her first extensive comments about the racial tensions that roiled Ferguson, Mo., in recent weeks, telling an audience in San Francisco that Americans "don't want to see our streets look like a war zone."
The former secretary of state and prospective 2016 presidential contender criticized "inequities in our justice system" following 18-year-old Michael Brown's killing by a police officer, which sparked more than a week of unrest in the small town.
"We don't want to see our streets look like a war zone. Not in America. We are better than that," she said, according to The Hill.
Clinton said her "heart broke" for Brown's family as she watched his funeral on Monday, Talking Points Memo reported.
Watching the recent funeral for Michael Brown, as a mother, as a human being, my heart just broke for his family. Because losing a child is every parent's greatest fear and an unimaginable loss. But I also grieve for that community and for many like it across our country."
Clinton was speaking at a conference hosted by Nextenta, a software company.
We can't ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality. Imagine what we would feel and what we would do if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police during a traffic stop as black drivers instead of the other way around.
That is the reality in the lives of so many of our fellow Americans and so many of the communities in which they live."
Clinton also praised President Obama's decision to send Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson and his call for a "speedy and thorough investigation" of Brown's death and the police response.
CNN's Dan Merica tweeted out a chunk of Clinton's comments:
Republican operatives, meanwhile, joked about how long Clinton waited before weighing in on the clashes in Ferguson, which finally died down a few days ago.
I see Hillary Clinton finally got the focus group report back on potential Ferguson remarks.— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) August 28, 2014
Hillary Clinton's response time is totes 1996.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) August 28, 2014