Just three days after Black Lives Matter protesters rallied at an October 30 Hillary Clinton event at Clark Atlanta University to protest her support of the death penalty, Clinton met with the mothers and family members of several black men who have been killed by police. Among the group were Lesley McSpadden, Samaria Rice, and Sybrina Fulton, mothers of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin, respectively. The New York Times reports:
In a private conversation that included the mothers of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin and others, Mrs. Clinton reaffirmed her pledge to overhaul the criminal justice system, a campaign aide said. She also asked how trust could be restored between police officers and predominantly African-American communities in light of a spate of killings.
The movement for black lives has become an increasingly important player in politics ahead of 2016. Protesters affiliated with various groups have rallied
and interrupted each major candidate and have pressured each into developing more cohesive plans to fight racial injustice and reform the criminal justice system. Organizations like Campaign Zero have released actionable policy plans and some groups will host a racial justice town hall with Democrat candidates.
The meeting and the speech for an event on Black voters at Clark Atlanta University, an HBCU in Atlanta, indicate Clinton’s push to woo black voters and gain the support of activists. She faces stiff competition in this regard from Bernie Sanders, who has also courted and met with protesters.