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Trump 'Very Troubled' by Tulsa Police Shooting

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By    |   Wednesday, 21 Sep 2016 02:57 PM

Donald Trump on Wednesday said he was "very troubled" by the police-involved shooting in Tulsa, saying the man who was killed "looked like he did everything you’re supposed to do."

It was a rare comment for Trump to make, given his staunch support for law enforcement in other police shootings and his criticism of the Black Lives Matter, in which he accused the movement of trying to inflame communities against police.

"I watched the shooting in particular in Tulsa. And that man was hands up. That man went to the car, hands up. Put his hand on the car — to me it looked like he did everything you’re supposed to do," The Washington Post quoted Trump as saying.

Trump made the comments in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where he was addressing the Pastors Leadership Conference at the New Spirit Revival Center. Cleveland Heights is nearly 43 percent black.

Earlier this week, Tulsa officer Betty Shelby, 42, shot and killed Terrence Crutcher, who was unarmed.

"This young officer, I don’t know what she was thinking. … These things are terrible," Trump said. "In my opinion that was a terrible situation. … Did she get scared, was she choking? People that do that can’t be doing what they’re doing."

Last week Trump secured the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest police union.

Trump, joined by running mate Mike Pence at the event, has routinely praised police officers in his speeches to supporters. But after reading from notes about the role of the black church in the civil rights movement and vowing to help struggling black Americans, Trump questioned the Tulsa officer's reaction in shooting Crutcher, who was unarmed.

Video of the shooting, which Trump cited, shows Crutcher walking toward his SUV. His hands are up, As officers approach, Crutcher appears to place his hands on the vehicle before the officers surround him. He then drops to the ground. Someone on the police radio says, "I think he may have just been tasered." Then almost immediately, someone can be heard yelling, "Shots fired!" Crutcher is left lying in the street.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has made curbing gun violence and police brutality a central part of her candidacy. She has campaigned alongside a group of black women called the "Mothers of the Movement," who advocated for more accountability and transparency by law enforcement. The group includes the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, black victims of high-profile killings.

Addressing the North Carolina and Oklahoma shootings on Twitter on Wednesday, Clinton wrote, "Keith Lamont Scott. Terence Crutcher. Too many others. This has got to end. -H"

Trump's meeting came after street demonstrations continued into the early hours of Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. On Tuesday, 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by Charlotte police officer Brentley Vinson, who is black. Officers say Scott was armed and posed a threat. Police used tear gas to disperse protesters during the demonstrations that left about a dozen officers injured.

During the question-and-answer session at the church, Trump said he was a "tremendous believer in the police and law enforcement, because we need that for our society." But he said law enforcement was also troubled by the police-involved shootings, adding, "People that choke, people that do that, maybe they can't be doing what they're doing."

Clinton, meanwhile, was campaigning in Orlando, Florida, later Wednesday. She planned a speech focused on how the economy can work for people with disabilities, an implicit poke at Trump's much-publicized mocking of a disabled journalist during a rally last year.

Trump's event with one of his top black supporters, Pastor Darrell Scott, at the minister's New Spirit Revival Center, took a bizarre turn when the Republican nominee was introduced by boxing promoter Don King, who used a racial slur as he made the case for black voters to support Trump.

Trump's latest foray into the black community not only sought to connect with voters in Cleveland, home to a large community of African-American voters key to rival Hillary Clinton's prospects in Ohio, but also with moderate suburban voters, who frequently hear Clinton describe Trump as extreme.

King, introducing Trump, raised eyebrows when he said a black man is always framed by his skin color, recalling that he once told pop icon Michael Jackson "if you're poor, you're a 'poor Negro.' If you're rich, you're a 'rich Negro.'" An educated black man is "an intellectual negro."

King, who is black, continued: "If you're a dancing and sliding and gliding n-----— I mean Negro — you are 'a dancing and sliding and gliding Negro.'" Gasps and laughs could be heard from the audience.

The King incident underscored the often clumsy way in which Trump has made his appeal to minority voters. Many black community leaders and voters have been offended by his dire depiction of life in minority communities. Trump's outreach has also been viewed cynically as an attempt by his campaign to soothe concerns among more moderate, suburban voters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Donald Trump said Wednesday he is very troubled by last week's fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer in Oklahoma, as he made a fresh appeal to black voters who have supported Democrats in the past by overwhelming margins.Trump's event with one of his top...
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Wednesday, 21 Sep 2016 02:57 PM
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