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DeRay McKesson and Other Black Civil Rights Leaders Just Met with Hillary Clinton

The discussion reportedly focused on policing, prisons, and the political rhetoric around race in the United States.

by Mike Pearl
09 October 2015, 8:55pm

Photo by DeRay McKesson via Twitter, courtesy of McKesson

Hillary Clinton sat down for a meeting in Washington, DC,Friday with prominent civil rights leaders from the Campaign Zero and Black Lives Matter movements. The substance of the meeting was reportedly a discussion of policing, prisons, and the political rhetoric around race in the United States.

"This meeting provided an important opportunity to both hear directly from this community of activists, as well as to have the conversation, and help inform inform policy," Karen Finney, a senior spokesperson for the Clinton campaign told VICE.

Attendees included DeRay McKesson, Brittany Packnett and Johnetts "Netta" Elzie.

McKesson, who rose to prominence during the civil rights protests in Ferguson, Missouri last year, later tweeted that Clinton's actual policy positions on the subjects discussed at the meeting were not made clear, but that announcements were expected to follow "in the coming weeks."

McKesson told The Guardian that Clinton was "open to being pushed" on the issues central to the Black Lives Matter movement. Indeed, he described a meeting in which Clinton was "pushed" on multiple issues, including "decentering" responsibility for community safety so that police are no longer the end-all-be-all, and ending the use of euphemisms that politicians employ to dance around issues related to the black experience in America.

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McKesson also claimed that Clinton was "adamant" about ending the use of private prisons, although he pointed out that her documented financial relationship with the private prison lobby could put her commitment in some doubt.

In a post on Periscope that only showed the meeting's cordial dissolution, Clinton can be heard responding to comment made about a mass shooting. "I'll tell you, you're a better person than me, wanting to love folks who kill somebody. I can't do that. I will forgive them, but I'm not going to love them," Clinton said.

Only moments later did Clinton find out she was being broadcast online. "You are the social media emperor," she said into the cameraphone that was photographing her.

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