POLITICS

Hillary Clinton To Talk Shop With Top Civil Rights Leaders In New York

The NAACP and other national groups are expected at the gathering.

Hillary Clinton will visit New York on Feb. 16 to meet with representatives of national civil rights groups and coalitions, including the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, her campaign announced Friday.

The Democratic presidential candidate is expected to address a wide range of racial justice issues, including mass incarceration, poverty, unemployment and voting rights.

Not listed in the topics for discussion is the future of the death penalty, a topic on which Clinton clashed with her contender, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), at Thursday's Democratic debate.

Clinton said she supports capital punishment "for very limited, particularly heinous crimes," but Sanders countered that government should never "be a part of killing" and highlighted how innocent minorities are often disproportionately sentenced to death.

Among other leaders, Clinton will meet the National Action Network's Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Bar Association's Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney who has represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

Also expected at the New York gathering are the heads of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, plus representatives from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Clinton's outreach to black civil rights leaders -- many of them representing the old civil rights guard -- can be seen as a signal that she's setting her sights on South Carolina, one of the next primary battles after New Hampshire.

As The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim explained here, South Carolina could be a bellwether for which Democratic candidate the black community decides to support in the long haul.

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