Speaking at a church in Cleveland today, Donald Trump said he was “very, very troubled” by the deaths of two black men. Rev. Terence Crutcher was shot to death in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by a police officer despite being unarmed. Yesterday, an unarmed black man was shot to death by police in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Trump said this was a “terrible” situation, and suggested police should be “more careful” or leave the force. Alongside him was running mate Mike Pence as he addressed dozens of black pastors. Trump has conducted an outreach to black voters that has not been seen among Republican for generations. In his remarks in Cleveland, he echoed issues that he also brought up at a black church in Detroit earlier this month.
Following the shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, there was rioting that resulted in injuries to 16 officers and damage to several police vehicles.
However, during a question-and-answer period at the town hall in Cleveland, Trump said he was troubled “in particular” by the Tulsa shooting. In that case, a female police officer shot Pastor Crutcher said she believed Crutcher, who was unarmed, was behaving strangely and reaching for a gun, the officer’s attorney said. Trump said he had watched the video of the Tulsa shooting. While he described himself as a “tremendous believer” in law enforcement, Trump admitted that he could not understand what happened to Crutcher. He told listeners at the Pastors Leadership Conference in Cleveland, “That man was hands up. That man went to the car, hands up. To me, it looked like he did everything you’re supposed to do,” Trump said. “He looked like a really good man.”
“This young officer, I don’t know what she was thinking,” Trump said. “I am very, very troubled by that. And we have to be very careful. … Did she get scared? Was she choking? People that do that can’t be doing what they are doing.”
Before Trump spoke, boxing promoter and Cleveland native Don King appealed to black Americans to vote for Trump, saying that the businessman is uniquely qualified to restore inner cities.
He said that he wants to make the Republican Party more inclusive to minority voters. Trump said he will pursue a “civil rights agenda” that would make America better for everyone, including black Americans. “I fully understand that the African-American community has suffered from discrimination, and many wrongs must be made right,” Trump said.
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