Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton told a room full of prominent Black Lives Matter activists on Friday that she wants to close private prisons across the U.S.
Clinton spoke with about a dozen activists in Washington, D.C. to discuss her criminal justice policies at a 90-minute meeting that activist DeRay McKesson called "tough, productive, and candid."
“She noted that she specifically wants to focus on ending funding to private prisons as the way to end them,” McKesson said on Twitter following the meeting. He also said activists had pushed Clinton to "de-center the police as the key to the safety in communities" and talk "more plainly & clearly about issues related to blackness."
Clinton spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa confirmed that Clinton supports ending private prisons, noting that she says on her website that she will "phase out private prisons." We've asked for more details on how she plans to do this, and will update the story if we hear back.
Bernie Sanders, Clinton's top rival in the Democratic primary, has also called for the abolishment of private prisons, and has introduced legislation to do so.
Clinton has taken criticism for receiving donations from lobbyists for private prison companies. The DREAMer who interrupted her speech at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s gala last night criticized Clinton for taking the donations.
McKesson also broadcast a few minutes of video from the end of the meeting on Periscope. "You're a better person than me, wanting to love folks who kill somebody—I just can't do that," Clinton is heard telling an activist. "Listen, I will forgive them but I'm not going to love them."
"Hi! Hi everybody!" she said, laughing loudly, when McKesson informed her she was live on Periscope. "You are the social media emperor!" she tells him.
Casey Tolan is a National News Reporter for Fusion based in New York City.