Hillary Clinton addresses Martin shooting death
July 16th, 2013
09:07 PM ET
5 years ago

Hillary Clinton addresses Martin shooting death

(CNN) - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday her prayers are with Trayvon Martin's family and "every family who loves someone who is lost to violence."

Addressing the Delta Sigma Theta sorority convention in Washington, Clinton told the crowd, "No mother, no father should ever have to fear for their child walking down a street in the United States of America."

Clinton, who's widely considered a potential 2016 presidential contender, addressed the largely-African American audience just days after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Martin, 17.

The jury's decision sparked protests across the country, while many groups, including the NAACP, ramped up pressure on the Justice Department to press federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

At the top of her speech Tuesday, Clinton briefly addressed Martin's death and the recent trial - a story that has loomed large over the convention.

"In a week that I know has brought heartache - deep, painful heartache to many across our country - the solidarity and the solace you find here is all the more important," she said.

Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the same convention on Monday, calling Martin's death a "tragic, unnecessary shooting" and vowing that the Justice Department with "follow the facts of the law" as it continues to investigate the incident.

For her part, Clinton encouraged the sorority, the nation's single largest African-American women's organization, to "move forward."

"As we move forward, as we must, I hope this sisterhood will continue to be a force for justice and understanding," she said.

Tuesday's appearance marked the latest in Clinton's busy speech circuit. Since retiring as secretary of state at the beginning of 2013, the former first lady and U.S. senator from New York has made numerous paid and non-paid speeches across the country, fueling further speculation that she's gearing up for a presidential bid.

She also addressed the Supreme Court's recent decision that effectively ruled key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as invalid. The high court left it up to a divided Congress to revise the law, so that it's constitutional in the minds of a majority of justices.

While many Republicans praised the decision - saying it allowed some states to navigate more freely around outdated rules - many Democrats and civil rights leaders argue the ruling threatens voting rights for minorities in states with a history of discrimination.

Clinton urged the sorority women to pressure Congress to rewrite the law so that those key parts are deemed constitutional.

"I want to make sure that in the next election and the next election and the next and every one after that, people line up to vote and they vote regardless of those who may not want to count their vote or acknowledge their right to vote," she said, drawing heavy applause.

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. thomas davie

    Hillary is not saying George Zimmerman is guilty or the police did anything wrong . She is saying its devastating losing someone to violence. Especially a child. We must move forward and have a dialogue about gun violence. We also must make sure we take caution not to put children in a position that they make terrible choices, like George did with Trayvon.

    July 16, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  2. Chris

    Using Martins Death to Score political Reasons shame on you Hillary

    July 16, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Justice or not, a child whose only crime was that he went to pick up Skittles and some tea and never made it home because the killer wanted to be a hero. Give him back the gun and when he kills somebody again maybe justice will be served.
    I feel for the Martin family. I couldn't help but cry on Saturday night after the so wrong verdict. I wish the jurors who knew deep down inside that this guy should be in jail right now had "stood their ground" against the bullies on the jury. The white women who are supposed to be the peers of a Black child and a Hispanic male (which now the killer prefers to be known as). Right!

    July 16, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  4. anonoymous

    Well spoken Madam President....

    July 16, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  5. Stanley Hill

    Parents that don't teach their kids to be good and to have high values, raise them to stay away from drugs and not tack people and stay away from the gangs life will have happy and safe kids. Kids with the right up bringing can achieve the American Dream if we don't become a socialist country like Obama wants.

    July 16, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  6. Woman In California - Boycott Florida

    IF you want change – start by bankrupting Florida. If we stop vacationing there and spending money to support anything associated with that state, SYG laws will get changed real fast because nothing says change – like OUR MONEY HAS DEPARTED. It worked in AZ and it can work in FL.

    July 16, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. Thomas

    No more lions to spear , only people .

    Too many guns in to many hands.

    July 17, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  8. stars

    and I applause you my sister in christ. May god bless you to be our next potus.

    July 17, 2013 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  9. terr

    please go away hillary, politics is not for you

    July 17, 2013 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  10. Rofiq

    Americans always talk of democracy and war

    July 17, 2013 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  11. The Elephant In The Room

    OK, she's running. She said just enough to get solid genuine applause from this audience while deprieving they reightwing haters of any "red meat" soundbites that they could point to in gun-crazy country. I'd love to see Republicans askeds by journalists on their views on "Stand Your Ground "laws [which apparently have some form active in over 30 states]. As voters, we have a right to know. And I don't think that any GOP'er that says people in an argument, fist fight, knife fight, or running gun battle has a civilized RESPONSIBILITY to retreat & de-escalate a confrontation if they can . . . that politician won't fare well in a National election.

    July 17, 2013 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  12. Dar

    Clinton; For her part, Clinton encouraged the sorority, the nation's single largest African-American women's organization, to "move forward."

    Lets just keep stirring the racist pot and completely separate the country Mrs. Clinton. Hell, everybody that has a D in front of their name is, why not join them.
    Wouldn't it be something if one special person would stand up and try to bring us all together. Now that would be something special wouldn't it.
    This fiasco is nothing more than a way for certain people to make money and gain votes for their own agenda.

    July 17, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  13. global policy researchg


    July 17, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  14. NameScott

    God Bless Hillary Run Hillary Run

    July 17, 2013 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  15. Neutral Observer

    I applaud Hillary for using common sense in advocating the use of the legislature to rewrite a law deemed unconstitutional rather than using a judge to fix it. But I do wish someone like Hillary would point out to these affinity groups that blind support of Black vs White (or Hispanic in this case) regardless of the circumstances will lead to loss of credibility.

    July 17, 2013 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  16. Jason

    Shame on you for Politicizing Martins Death. Trying score political points how sad.

    July 17, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  17. M.A.P.

    Ok she didn't say anything that could be considered offensive for either side to get upset about. She's got good communication skills and is a believable force in politics. I really hope she runs in 2016 – GO HILARY!

    July 17, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    Reverse racism being supported by Hillary.........who refuses to face the truth..........Martin was the attacker, and it got him killed.

    July 17, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  19. Dean

    Would she have made these comment had Martin killed Zimmerman? I doubt it. Who care what she thinks about this issue anyway?

    July 17, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  20. HenryMiller

    "No mother, no father should ever have to fear for their child walking down a street in the United States of America."

    Then all those mothers and fathers should tell their kids not to try to beat a man's brains out on a sidewalk.

    July 17, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  21. smith

    This is like a kid picking at a scab on their arm. If you leave it alone it will heal. The jury has spoken. Its over. Shame on the politicians who are using this case for their stupid agenda. Im starting to think they want riots and a racial divide. I keep hearing this crap about white supremacy and Emmet Till. This case had nothing to do with either. GZ is hispanic and the FBI investigated this case and found no evidence of racial bias.

    July 17, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  22. Vom Brunhaus

    Marie MD get your facts strait "that was not Martins only crime" , you left out sucker punching someone in the Face then bashing that persons head into concrete tryin to kill him while on top of him. Stood ones Ground had nothing to do with the case, SELF DEFENSE did !

    July 17, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  23. smith

    @Elephant- How do you retreat or walk away when someone is on top of you punching your face.

    July 17, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  24. Gurgyl

    Zimmerman saved the lives the thug would have taken later.

    July 17, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "No mother, no father should ever have to fear for their child walking down a street in the United States of America."
    Exactly. Well said Hillary.
    Hillary 2016 Forward America.

    July 17, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
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