By Dan Merica
Boston (CNN) — Hillary Clinton stood with those protesting the deaths of two unarmed black males at the hands of law enforcement on Thursday, telling an audience in Boston that “our country deserves a full and fair accounting” of what happened.
In the last two weeks, grand juries have cleared police officers in the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. The deaths have led to rising tension and protests around the country about law enforcement’s treatment of black males.
At a massive gathering of 10,000 women in Massachusetts, Clinton said she recognized the “pain and frustration” in response to the deaths and backed federal probes that have been initiated by the Justice Department.
“I’m very pleased that the DOJ will be investigating what happened in Ferguson or Staten Island,” Clinton said. “Those families and those communities and our country deserve a full and fair accounting, as well as whatever substantive reforms are necessary to ensure equality, justice and respect for every citizen.”
Clinton also called out the federal government for sending military-style equipment — which Clinton called “weapons of war” — to local police forces.
Instead, the former secretary of state and likely 2016 presidential candidate said the United States should “invest in what works … [not] buy weapons of war that have no place on our streets or contribute to unnecessary force or arrests.”
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama issued an executive order on police militarization calling for better tracking of such equipment.
Clinton identified with both the peaceful protestors and law enforcement during her speech.
“We all know there are decent, honorable, brave police officers out in our communities every single day,” Clinton said, before telling the audience the fact that African-American males are more likely to end up in prison than their white counterparts was a byproduct of an “out of balance” criminal justice system.