Charlotte’s police shooting and protests, which have garnered national attention, also have been drawn into the presidential campaign.
Speaking about Charlotte’s unrest Thursday, Republican Donald Trump suggested the violence was caused by drugs.
“If you’re not aware, drugs are a very, very big factor in what you’re watching on television,” he told an audience in Pittsburgh.
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Trump was commenting on the violence seen in Charlotte since Tuesday’s fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer. Protesters gathered uptown Wednesday night, confronting police, and some people looted uptown stores.
“There is no compassion in tolerating lawless conduct,” Trump said. “Crime and violence is an attack on the poor, and will never be accepted in a Trump administration.”
Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine also mentioned Charlotte Thursday in Reno, NV, where he also alluded to this week’s police shooting of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, OK.
“(W)e probably last night and today woke up watching news about the community unrest in Charlotte, and Charlotte is a number of states away, but it’s not that far away because we’re seeing challenges in our cities,” he said. “We see challenges all over the country, challenges of gulfs and gaps that exist between communities and law enforcement.
“Those gulfs and gaps are painful for communities and they’re painful for law enforcement. But what we need to do is just think about the families of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott. Those are two more names on, sadly, a long list of African-Americans that has grown too long.”
Kaine said he and running mate Hillary Clinton have appealed for calm in Charlotte.
“Hillary and I join faith leaders, and Keith Lamont Scott’s family was very eloquent about this, in calling for calm in Charlotte,” he said. “These issues have to be raised. We’ve got to talk about them. We’ve got to put them on the table. They’re not easy, but we can do that with a calm and peaceful spirit.”
On Wednesday, Clinton tweeted her support for the victim as well as for law enforcement officers.
“We have two names to add to a long list of African-Americans killed by police officers,” she tweeted. “It’s unbearable, and it needs to become intolerable.”