Former Attorney General Eric Holder declared at the Democratic National Convention that “there should be no tension between protecting those who valiantly risk their lives to serve and ensuring that everyone is treated fairly by police.”
Holder spoke at the beginning of a social justice segment and recognized his 25-year friendship with Hillary Clinton.
“At a time when the bonds between law enforcement and communities of color have frayed – when assassins target police in heinous attacks, and peaceful citizens have to question whether black lives truly matter – we need a president who understands the reality I saw, in my travels across the country, as our nation’s 82nd attorney general,” Holder said.
“As the brother of a retired police officer, I am profoundly aware that an attack on a police officer anywhere is an attack on our entire society. So it is not enough for us to praise law enforcement after cops are killed. We must protect them, value them – and equip them with the right tools, tactics, and training – while they are still alive.”
He added that “keeping our officers safe is not inconsistent with ensuring that those in law enforcement treat the people they are sworn to serve with dignity, respect, and fairness — we must commit ourselves to both goals.”
“At a time when our justice system is out of balance, when one in three black men will be incarcerated in their lifetimes, and when black defendants in the federal system receive sentences 20 percent longer than their white peers, we need a president who will end this policy of over-incarceration,” he said.
Holder took a shot at Donald Trump’s acceptance speech from the RNC, stressing that “despite the fiction and fearmongering you’ve heard from the other party’s nominee, violent crime has gone down since President Obama took office.”
“Finally, at a time when the right to vote is under siege – when Republicans brazenly assault the most fundamental right of our democracy – passing laws designed to stop people from voting, while closing locations in minority neighborhoods where people get the documents they need to vote – we need a president sensitive to these echoes of Jim Crow,” he said. “We need a president who holds the right to vote as sacred and stands firm against any kind of modern-day poll tax.”
Holder vowed that Clinton would “set a new standard for early voting.”