Clinton breaks Ferguson silence

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Hillary Clinton addressed the events in Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday for the first time since the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer, calling for a "thorough and speedy investigation."

"We don't want to see our streets look like a war zone. Not in America. We are better than that," she said at a technology conference in San Francisco, responding to images broadcast across the country of police in helmets and armored vehicles deploying tear gas.

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She also praised "decent and respectful law enforcement officers, who showed what quality law enforcement looked like."

"We cannot ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system," she added.

They were her first comments since the shooting on Aug. 9 and the protests that drew national attention. Today is the 51st anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" Speech, which Clinton noted.

The likely 2016 Democratic front-runner had drawn some criticism for her previous silence on the issue. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a potential 2016 presidential rival, by contrast, addressed the shooting on Aug. 14 with an op-ed in Time magazine criticizing the “militarization” of police and racial inequities in the justice system.

Rev. Al Sharpton, a leader in the protests, said earlier this month that he was “amazed we’re not hearing from leading candidates,” and then called out Clinton by name, along with others.

“I applaud President Obama for sending the attorney general to Ferguson and demanding a thorough and speedy investigation,” Clinton said.

This post was updated at 3:29 p.m.