As the 2016 presidential election draws near, potential party nominees are making their thoughts on the current state of gun violence and racially charged policing tactics known. Potential Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders issued his own sweeping call for police reform earlier this year, though his stance on gun control received a less-than-enthusiastic turn during the recent Democratic debate. As for Hillary Clinton, she met with #BlackLivesMatter activists back in August to discuss how the movement might continue to influence the future of reform, a move she’s now followed up by meeting with a group of mothers impacted by tragic gun violence.
"She is a mother and she is a woman and I felt she understood where we were coming from," Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, told CNN regarding Hillary’s private meeting in Chicago earlier this week. "It doesn't matter what color we are, I felt that she really understand where we are coming from." According to the women in attendance, Clinton did not make "any explicit promises" to them but did "pledge" to remain engaged and continue working on criminal justice reform.
"I think that it was very productive," said Maria Hamilton, whose mentally ill son, Dontre Hamilton, died after being shot more than 12 times by a police officer in Milwaukee. "I think that all the work that the mothers are doing on behalf of our loved ones, it is working. People are asking to hear our stories. People are asking to find out what kind of legislation and policies we are changing." According to CNN, the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Michael Brown were also in attendance for the two-hour gathering, which took place at Sweet Maple Cafe in Chicago’s University Village.