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Hillary Clinton, top Democrats call attention to police shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota

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WASHINGTON — Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other high-profile Democrats on social media to call attention to back-to-back shootings of black men by police officers this week.

“America woke up to yet another tragedy of a life cut down too soon. Black Lives Matter. #PhilandoCastile -H,” she tweeted.

The former secretary of state released a statement on Wednesday — issued prior to Philando Castile’s death — calling Alton Sterling’s death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a “tragedy.”

“From Staten Island to Baltimore, Ferguson to Baton Rouge, too many African-American families mourn the loss of a loved one from a police-involved incident,” Clinton said.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has yet to formally drop out of the Democratic presidential race, sent a series of tweets Thursday condemning the killings.

“The violence that killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile has become an all too common occurrence for people of color and IT. MUST. STOP.,” he said.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who many consider a possible running mate for Clinton, also sent a series of tweets calling attention to the police shootings.

“We’ve seen the sickening videos of black Americans killed in traffic stops. Lives ended by those sworn to protect them. #blacklivesmatter,” the Massachusetts Democrat tweeted.

And Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison said Thursday that the shootings are not “isolated” incidents.

“The situation down in Baton Rouge. Eric Garner. Mike Brown. Tamir Rice. Sandra Bland,” Ellison said on CNN’s “New Day.” “There is a systematic targeting of African-Americans and a systematic lack of accountability when police use excessive force. This is a national problem. It’s deeply disturbing. And it has real-life effects.”

Federal authorities have taken charge of the investigation of the shooting death of Sterling, a 37-year-old African-American man who sold CDs and DVDs outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge. Sterling was shot outside the store after an encounter with two white police officers.

The shooting, which was caught on video, has drawn protests from activists and politicians across the country. And the president of the NAACP’s local branch is calling for the city’s police chief and mayor to resign.

Castile was killed Wednesday evening after being pulled over in a traffic stop. The incident took place in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and in the car with Castile were a young girl and his fiancé, who live-streamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.

 

As South Carolina Rep. Wendell Gilliard proclaimed on Twitter: “Enough is enough of our police officers targeting people of color.”

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has not commented on either death. Other public figures took to social media with their reactions to the two shootings.