Clinton says 'implicit bias' still exists in U.S.

Story highlights

  • "Let's acknowledge that implicit bias still exists across society and even in the best police departments," Clinton said
  • Clinton said there was "clear evidence" African-Americans are more likely to be killed in police incidents

(CNN)Hillary Clinton pledged Friday to bring law enforcement and communities together to develop national guidelines on the use of force by police officers, days after two black men were killed by police officers.

Speaking to a largely African-American audience at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Clinton also addressed the fatal shootings of five Dallas officers Thursday night, acknowledging the heightened racial tension in the country. But she also said it was important to acknowledge the "implicit bias" in society and some police departments and, in particular, called on white Americans to empathize with African-Americans.
    "I will bring law enforcement and communities together to develop national guidelines on the use of force by police officers. We'll make it clear when deadly force is warranted, and when it isn't. And we'll emphasize proven methods for de-escalating situations before we reach that point," she said.
    "Second, let's acknowledge that implicit bias still exists across society and even in the best police departments. We have to tackle it together. So in my first budget, I will commit $1 billion to find and fund the best training programs, support new research and make this a national policing priority."
    Clinton said that as president, she would reduce what she said was "excessive violence" as well as reforming sentencing laws and toughening gun control. She praised the Dallas Police Department and police efforts in general, earning applause from the audience.
    But she said there was "clear evidence" African-Americans are more likely to be killed in police incidents than any other group of Americans, and said white Americans need to join the fight against racism.
    "White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African-Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day," Clinton said. "We need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another's shoes -- to imagine what it would be like if people followed us around stores or locked their car doors when we walked past ... or, if every time our children went to play in the park, or just to the store to buy iced tea and Skittles, we said a prayer: 'Please God, don't let anything happen to my baby.'"
    The shootings in Dallas prompted Clinton to cancel a campaign rally with Vice President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where an aide said she planned to address the killings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.
    Biden and Clinton had also planned to fundraise together in Scranton after the public rally. This event has also been canceled. The vice president's appearance with Clinton was to come almost nine months after he had closed the door on a 2016 run of his own.
    It was the second time in less than a month that the Clinton campaign has canceled a major rally in the aftermath of a shooting. Last month, a Wisconsin event with President Barack Obama was pushed back following a terrorist attack in Orlando that killed 49 people.
    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump also scrapped his campaign events Friday.
    Obama delivered two statements from Warsaw, Poland. The first one came early Friday right after he landed, saying the shooting incidents earlier this week were "symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system." The second came hours later following the events in Dallas, when Obama vowed a harsh punishment for perpetrators and called the incident "a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement."