Hillary Clinton on criminal justice: CNN’s Reality Check vets the claims

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton has said racial disparities exist in the US criminal justice system and has made that an issue she would address if she were elected president. CNN’s Reality Check Team put her statements and assertions about criminal justice to the test.

The team of reporters, researchers and editors across CNN listened throughout the speech and selected key statements, rating them true; mostly true; true, but misleading; false; or it’s complicated.
Reality Check: Clinton on Dallas police recruitment
    July 28, 2016
    By Kate Grise, CNN
    Clinton applauded the Dallas community’s response to its police chief’s call for people to step up and join the police force to make a difference after the fatal shootings of five police officers.
    “Police Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them,” she said. “And you know how the community responded? Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days. That’s how Americans answer when the call for help goes out.”
    After the July 7 shooting, Dallas Police Chief David Brown called protesters to “serve your communities.”
    “We’re hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in,” he said. “We’ll put you in your neighborhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.”
    As CNN has reported, the department received 467 applications from July 8 to July 20. That was a 344% increase from the same dates in June. One-hundred and thirty-six applications were received from June 8 to June 20.
    While her number is a hair high, we rate Clinton’s claim TRUE.
    Reality Check: Clinton on out-of-state guns in New York crimes
    April 14, 2016
    By Kate Grise and Eve Bower, CNN
    Clinton has recently suggested that places such as Sanders’ home state of Vermont are responsible for much of the gun violence in New York.
    She didn’t go that far Thursday night, but she did say: “The facts are that most of the guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from out of state. They come from the states that don’t have the kind of serious efforts to control guns that we do in New York.”
    The statistics on where guns used in crimes come from are complicated.
    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recovered a total of 7,686 guns in 2014, but only 4,585 of those were traced back to the states where they were last registered. That means that a full 40% of those guns cannot be linked definitively to any state at all — a fact that severely limits the validity of Clinton’s claim.
    Of the 4,585 that can be linked to a state, more than 30% come from inside New York state itself.
    Furthermore, the ATF’s database of traced weapons is itself limited to begin with. The ATF says “not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime.” So we don’t even know that all of the guns traced were used in violent crimes, as Clinton implies. Because of the imperfections in the data set, the ATF says the data “should not be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals.” Even though the ATF’s data is incomplete, it is still the best record of weapons that have been recovered by law enforcement and then traced.
    Clinton avoided wading into more trouble by staying away from her statement earlier in the week that “the state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont.”
    Of the guns traced to a state, only 55, or just over 1%, were traced to Vermont. Her emphasis on the phrase “per capita” makes all the difference: just 55 of the 4,585 guns that the ATF traced in New York in 2014 came from Vermont. As a share of Vermont’s total population of some 626,000, that ends up being 8.7 guns per 100,000 residents. South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia are the next closest states with 5.3, 4.74, and 3.82 per capita, respectively.
    Both during Thursday night’s debate and in her comments last week, Clinton is making a claim that is a big leap based on the evidence available. But because the evidence is too incomplete to prove her wrong, our verdict has to be IT’S COMPLICATED.
    Reality Check: Clinton on toy guns
    April 14, 2016
    By Lisa Rose, CNN
    During a contentious discussion of gun control, Clinton criticized Sanders for his vote supporting a 2005 law that protects firearms dealers and manufacturers from consumer lawsuits. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act limits the liability of gun companies when crime victims try to sue.
    Clinton described the law as a “gift” to the gun industry. She declared, “We have tougher standards holding toy gun manufacturers and sellers to account than we do for real guns.”
    There actually are not rigorous rules for toy gun manufacturers and sellers, beyond the usual consumer product safety protections. Imitation firearms like air rifles and BB guns must be marked with an orange tip, in accordance with a law passed in 1990, but there are no further federal regulations on the controversial toys.
    Although it’s clear that Clinton was trying to punctuate her point by comparing manufacturers of real guns with those of fake guns, her suggestion that there are tough standards for toy guns is, at the very least, an overstatement.
    Verdict: FALSE.
    Reality Check: Clinton on gun used in Sandy Hook shootings
    March 3, 2016
    By Sonam Vashi, CNN
    Speaking about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Hillary Clinton said, “I want people in this audience to think about what it must feel like to send off your first-grader, little backpack maybe on his or her back, and then the next thing you hear is that somebody has come to that school using an automatic weapon, an AR-15, and murdered those children.”
    On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 first-graders and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
    Lanza brought three guns into the school and left one in his car, according to search warrants and a statement from a top prosecutor.
    The weapons were:
    – A semiautomatic Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, which is a brand name of a type of an AR-15, was the primary rifle used;
    – A Glock 10 mm handgun;
    – A Sig Sauer P226 9 mm handgun;
    – And a 12-gauge shotgun that Lanza left in his car.
    All of the weapons were purchased legally by Lanza’s mother, who Lanza shot and killed at their home before the shooting at Sandy Hook.
    When the trigger of an automatic weapon is pulled, the gun will constantly fire bullets until pressure is removed from the trigger, or until the magazine is empty. In semiautomatic mode, only one bullet is released when the trigger is pulled. To fire another bullet, the trigger must be pulled again.
    Clinton says that Lanza used an automatic weapon, when the AR-15 used by Lanza was a semi-automatic.
    Verdict: FALSE.
    Reality Check: Clinton on incarceration rate of black men in Wisconsin
    February 11, 2016
    By Eve Bower, CNN
    In response to a question about the high rate of incarceration of black men in Wisconsin, Clinton said, “the statistics from Wisconsin are particularly troubling because it is the highest rate of incarceration for African-Americans in our nation, twice the national average.”
    A 2013 study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee supports Clinton’s claim. The study found that in April 2010 “12.8% (or 1-in-8) African-American working age men were behind bars in state prisons and local jails,” and that this rate was “the highest for African-American men in the country and nearly double the national average of 6.7% (or 1-in-15).”
    The study further found that Wisconsin incarcerated Native American men at a higher rate than any other state, with 7.6% of working age men behind bars, compared to an average 3.1% of Native American men incarcerated nationwide.
    Wisconsin’s white men were incarcerated at a slightly lower rate than their counterparts nationwide, at 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively, the study found.
    The NAACP lists policies that promoted “get tough on crime” and the “war on drugs” as being among the chief contributing factors to the racial disparities in incarceration rates in the United States today.
    During her tenure as first lady, during a period of high crime rates, Clinton spoke in support of these policies. In an August 1994 speech promoting then-President Bill Clinton’s crime bill, Hillary Clinton “applauded” the New York City Police Department for its efforts “driving drug dealers out of New York,” and highlighting the “many dollars in the crime bill to build more prisons.”
    Once Clinton became a senator from New York, she appears to have changed her view.
    In 2007, she co-sponsored a bill to eliminate the five-year mandatory minimum sentence for first-time possession of crack cocaine and increase funding for drug treatment programs for incarcerated people. While campaigning for president later that year, she also advocated programs to divert non-violent drug offenders away from prison.
    Verdict: TRUE

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/25/politics/hillary-clinton-guns-fact-check/index.html