Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautiously reacted to an attack on law enforcement officials in Baton Rouge that killed three police officers and wounded three others.
“Today’s devastating assault on police officers in Baton Rouge is an assault on all of us,” Clinton said in a statement nearly seven hours after the attacks were reported. The shooting occurred around 9:40 AM EDT and Clinton’s campaign posted the statement at 5:05 PM EDT, moments after President Barack Obama took the podium at the White House to share his own response to the attacks.
In the hours after her Republican rival Donald Trump posted a response to the news, Clinton became the butt of jokes about needing to “focus group” her response.
Hard to convene a focus group on a Sunday
— (@ispencer) July 17, 2016
she has to run it by a focus group first.
— Angie (@ang_yow) July 17, 2016
still crickets. #HeartlessHillary is no leader. Probably running her response thru a focus group.
— Pax Trumpiana (@CincinnatusPax) July 17, 2016
— Mark Young🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@MarkeeceYBR) July 17, 2016
— Nancy Taylor (@claytonryan7) July 17, 2016
. Waiting for the focus group results no doubt
— lar 🇺🇸 (@tired_n_crabby) July 17, 2016
“There is no justification for violence, for hate, for attacks on men and women who put their lives on the line every day in service of our families and communities,” Clinton said. The meek tone of the statement stands in stark contrast to her response to the attack in Dallas, Texas, where killer Micah Johnson slew five police officers and injured seven.
White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the barriers they face.https://t.co/rmzeEG5HoC
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 9, 2016
There is clear evidence that black Americans are more likely to be killed in police incidents than any other group. We have to do better.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 8, 2016
Obama struck a different tone, calling for all Americans to resist the impulse to respond with political criticism.
Clinton’s statement urged Americans to unite in the wake of the tragedy.
“We must not turn our backs on each other. We must not be indifferent to each other,” she said. “We must all stand together to reject violence and strengthen our communities.”
Donald Trump reacted quickly to the attacks, calling for a return to law and order in the United States.
“We grieve for the officers killed in Baton Rouge today,” he wrote on Facebook. “How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country? We demand law and order.”