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Clinton Says Americans 'Must Not Vilify Police Officers' in Wake of Deadly Dallas Ambush


"Remember what those officers were doing when they died."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures as she arrives to speak at the African Methodist Episcopal church national convention in Philadelphia, Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hillary Clinton spoke out Friday in the wake of the deadly police ambush in Dallas, imploring Americans to "not vilify police officers."

The presumptive Democratic nominee, addressing concerns among the black community that the Dallas shooting distracts from the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, said that everyone believes "no frustration with the police could ever justify this bloodshed."

Clinton's comments came during an address at the African Methodist Episcopal Convention in Philadelphia.

"We cannot, we must not vilify police officers," she said. "Remember what those officers were doing when they died. They were protecting a peaceful march. They were people in authority making sure that their fellow citizens had the right to protest authority, and there is nothing more vital to our democracy than that. And they died for it."

The former secretary of state also issued renewed calls for criminal justice reform, saying white Americans must do a "better job" of listening to the black community.

"White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day," Clinton said. "We need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another’s shoes."

On the other hand, Donald Trump, Clinton's Republican presidential counterpart, cancelled a Miami event, where he was expected to address Hispanic issues. Instead, he released a lengthy statement, calling the Dallas attack a "coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe."

"We must restore law and order. We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street," he said. "The senseless, tragic deaths of two people in Louisiana and Minnesota reminds us how much more needs to be done."

In a video released later on his Facebook page, the billionaire businessman urged for unity among Americans.

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