Clinton, Warren call attention to police shootings

Back-to-back police shootings ignite outrage
Back-to-back police shootings ignite outrage

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Back-to-back police shootings ignite outrage 01:42

Washington (CNN)Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other high-profile Democrats on social media to call attention to back-to-back shootings of African-American men by police officers this week.

"America woke up to yet another tragedy of a life cut down too soon. Black Lives Matter. #PhilandoCastile -H," she tweeted.

    The former secretary of state released a statement on Wednesday, calling Alton Sterling's death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a "tragedy," but the statement was issued prior to Philando Castile's death.
    "From Staten Island to Baltimore, Ferguson to Baton Rouge, too many African-American families mourn the loss of a loved one from a police-involved incident," Clinton said. "Something is profoundly wrong when so many Americans have reason to believe that our country doesn't consider them as precious as others because of the color of their skin."
    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has yet to formally drop out of the Democratic presidential race, sent a series of tweets Thursday condemning the killings.
    "The violence that killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile has become an all too common occurrence for people of color and IT. MUST. STOP," he said.
    Warren, who's considered a possible running mate for Clinton, also sent a series of tweets calling attention to the police shootings.
    "We've seen the sickening videos of black Americans killed in traffic stops. Lives ended by those sworn to protect them. #blacklivesmatter" the Massachusetts Democrat tweeted.
    And Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison told CNN's "New Day" on Thursday that the shootings are not "isolated" incidents.
    "This is not isolated," Ellison told CNN's Alisyn Camerota. "The situation down in Baton Rouge. Eric Garner. Mike Brown. Tamir Rice. Sandra Bland. There is a systematic targeting of African-Americans and a systematic lack of accountability when police use excessive force. This is a national problem. It's deeply disturbing. And it has real-life effects."
    graphic video minnesota police shooting philando castile ryan young pkg nd_00010909.jpg
    graphic video minnesota police shooting philando castile ryan young pkg nd_00010909

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    Federal authorities have taken charge of the investigation of the shooting death of Sterling, a 37-year-old African-American man who sold CDs and DVDs outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge. Sterling was shot outside the store after an encounter with two police officers.
    The shooting, which was caught on video, has drawn protests from activists and politicians across the country. And the president of the NAACP's local branch is calling for the city's police chief and mayor to resign.
    Castile was killed Wednesday evening after being pulled over in a traffic stop. The incident took place in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and in the car with Castile were a young girl and his girlfriend, who live-streamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.
    Sanders said the deaths are part of a larger problem in American culture related to race and justice.
    "Today African-Americans are almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. #PhilandoCastille," he tweeted.
    "We need real criminal justice reform so that people can walk down the street without worrying about whether they'll get harassed or shot," Sanders added.
    As South Carolina Rep. Wendell Gilliard proclaimed on Twitter: "Enough is enough of our police officers targeting people of color."
    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has not commented on either death.