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Sen. Claire McCaskill talks politics, law enforcement reforms, presidential campaign, more

Sen. McCaskill's Flickr Page

Clearer skies might hang on the political horizon with the swearing in of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, but matters are not all clear just yet between Republicans and Democrats.

On Monday, Mo. Senator Claire McCaskill told St. Louis on the Air host, Don Marsh, that in order to achieve more heights, both parties must be willing to compromise. With a number of politicians from the Republican Party running for president, McCaskill says that matters of the here-and-now may become distracted. Those matters include a highway bill and the debt ceiling, among others.

One of the bills being addressed on Capitol Hill deals with law enforcement reform. McCaskill said that in the wake of unrest surrounding police-involved incidents, Republicans and Democrats are working to reform programs that fund local law enforcement. The reforms, she said, will be centered on more safeguards for police training and making police body cameras a priority for all departments.

“With the advent of video cameras, we are going to see more and more anecdotal evidence of misconduct by police, and I’m just hoping that everyone keeps perspective,” McCaskill said. “Knowing that we have some bad eggs is one thing, but people need to realize the vast majority of people who go into policing are wonderful people who are trying to do their best.”

McCaskill hopes that reforms will also include going back to a community policing policy and better oversight of municipal court systems.

“Just as those communities have criminals that prey upon victims, people need to remember that the victims need good quality policing and need to feel like they can go to the police department when they need help,” McCaskill said. “Right now, too often they have a perception that the police aren’t going to help them.”

McCaskill expressed her support of former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as the next president. Despite controversy surrounding Clinton regarding incidents such as the Benghazi attack and questions about Clinton donations, McCaskill believes that Clinton is the most qualified candidate. As of now, no other Democratic candidate has placed a bid in for presidency.

“She’s blessed and cursed by being so qualified,” McCaskill said of Clinton. “There’s no law that says people can’t run against Hillary Clinton. People are choosing not to run against Hillary Clinton because they see her as so far above – head and shoulders above- any of the other candidates. 

McCaskill also shared her feelings on issues raised during Senator John Danforth’s eulogy to former Mo. Auditor, Tom Schweich.  

“I certainly know about tough ads; I certainly have been subjected to them that I think have been too personal,” McCaskill said. “So maybe this is a moment that we can all pledge to do better—I think that’s what John Danforth was looking for. And time will tell whether or not the death of Tom Schweich will stand for some kind of change in tone in campaigns in Missouri. I pray that it does.”

St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.

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