Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for police across the country to wear body cameras to “improve transparency” while addressing the violent riots in Baltimore in a speech at an Ivy League university Wednesday.
“We should make sure every police department in the country has body cameras to record interactions between officers on patrol and suspects,” Clinton said. “That will improve transparency and accountability.”
Speaking at Columbia University, Clinton didn’t specifically say how her call for body cameras would be paid for.
But she did say of cameras: “It will help protect good people on both sides of the lens. For every tragedy caught on tape, there surely have been many more than remained invisible. Not every problem can be or will be prevented by cameras but this is a common sense step we should take.”
Her speech on criminal justice reforms comes as riots have broken out in Baltimore, where people have taken to the streets to throw rocks at police officers, burn buildings and loot businesses.
“Indeed it is a time for wisdom,” Clinton said. “For yet again, the family of a young black man is grieving a life cut short. Yet again, the streets of an American city are marred by violence. By shattered glass, and shouts of angers and shows of force. Yet again, a community is reeling, its fault lines laid bare and its bonds of trust and respect frayed. Yet again, brave police officers have been attacked in the line of duty. What we’ve seen in Baltimore should, indeed I think does, tear at our soul.”
Making a larger point about the protests across the country, Clinton added: “We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America. There is something profoundly wrong when African-American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms than are meted out to their white counter parts.”