Hillary Clinton made her first public comments on the situation that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri in recent weeks during her keynote speech at the Nexenta OpenSDx Summit in San Francisco on Thursday. Clinton’s remarks followed extensive criticism for her prior silence on the issue.
In her statement, Clinton said she was grieving after the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by police officers in Ferguson earlier this month, the subsequent protests that engulfed the city, and local police’s violent response to the protesters.
“As a mother, as a human being, my heart just broke for his family because losing a child is every parent’s greatest fear and an unimaginable loss,” Clinton said. “But I also grieve for that community and for many like it across our country. Behind the dramatic, terrible pictures on television are deep challenges that will be with them and with us long after the cameras.”
Clinton said the situation was reminiscent of a “war zone.”
“This is what happens when the bonds of trust and respect that hold any community together fray. Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone. Not in America. We are better than that,” said Clinton. “We saw our country’s true character in the community leaders who came out to protest peacefully and worked to restrain violence.”
Clinton is widely expected to make a White House bid in 2016. Though many observers criticised her for not weighing in on Ferguson more quickly, some suggested it was a smart move for her to avoid the potentially controversial topic.
Business Insider reached out to Clinton for comment on Ferguson two weeks ago. Her camp acknowledged the request for comment but did not otherwise weigh in. Brown was killed on Aug. 9.
Watch video of Clinton’s comments below.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.