Clinton to pitch sentencing, police changes to black voters

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Clinton Seeks End to Racial Profiling, Cocaine/Crack Disparity.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton will roll out new criminal justice reform policies in Atlanta on Friday as she tries to maximize her advantage with minority voters over Vermont U.S.Hillary Clinton at campaign event Friday in Atlanta will call for first of series of measures to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, according to stmt from her presidential campaign. The proposals are among the most sought after by criminal justice and civil rights activists — who have long decried both the crack and powder cocaine distinction and racial profiling in policing — and come as a renewed national focus on race, justice and policing continues to influence the ongoing presidential contest, especially in the Democratic primary. Clinton will support legislation to ban law enforcement officers from “relying on a person’s race when conducting routine or spontaneous investigatory activities,” stmt says Racial profiling “generally ineffective” as law enforcement tool,”demeans large segments of our communities and subjects them to unwarranted scrutiny”; stmt

Clinton’s plan would prohibit all levels of law enforcement from relying on race when making routine stops or “spontaneous investigative activity,” according to a Clinton aide. The initiatives come just days after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, her closest competitor, proposed allowing states to decriminalize marijuana by removing the drug from the federal list of controlled substances. Clinton will say Friday that as president she would support legislation eliminating any distinction between the two forms of the drug, meaning that those sentenced for crimes involving crack cocaine would receive the same sentences as those sentenced for crimes with powder cocaine for the first time in 30 years. In her speech, Clinton also plans to call for the passage of legislation that would end racial profiling by law enforcement, which has been on the legislative wish-list of some congressional Democrats for more than a decade.

Southern states with high African-American populations have been seen as a possible firewall for Clinton, and Georgia’s March 1 “SEC Primary” could help shape the race. Her strategy to turn Georgia and other “SEC primary” states into a Southern firewall to halt a Democratic adversary is not without a dose of irony. All three Democratic candidates have each held meetings with Black Lives Matter-affiliated activists and have vowed during stump speeches and debate performances to prioritize criminal justice issues if elected.

The Clintons have a deep well of support in the African-American community, and a CNN poll this month gave her a 50-point lead over Sanders in the critical early-voting state of South Carolina. To press her advantage even more, she’s announcing a new group — African Americans for Hillary — at her Friday event at Clark Atlanta University. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, one of Clinton’s most high-profile supporters in Georgia, said Sanders’ struggle to gain support among minority leaders boils down rather simply. “The Clintons have got a long-standing relationship with the black community and it’s going to pay off,” he said. “And candidly, Senator Sanders is a good, bright and able man — but he doesn’t have that relationship.”

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