Donald Trump thinks he knows what’s behind the ongoing protests in Charlotte. Speaking to a Pittsburgh audience, Thursday, the Republican presidential nominee who has billed himself as the “law and order candidate” said, “if you’re not aware, drugs are a very, very big factor in what you’re watching on television at night.”
Protesters have gathered on the streets of downtown Charlotte each night since the Tuesday death of Keith Lamont Scott. He was gunned down by police while waiting for his son to get off a school bus.
Scott’s death touched off nights of protests which turned violent Wednesday as officers in riot gear confronted demonstrators. Police say one person was shot by a civilian. That man later died.
Trump called for an end to the violence.
“Our country looks bad to the world, especially when we are supposed to be the world’s leader. How can we lead when we can’t even control our own cities? We honor and recognize the right of all Americans to peacefully assemble, protest and demonstrate, but there is no right to engage in violent disruption or to threaten the public safety and peace of others,” he said.
Trump spoke highly of the work that police officers do.
“It’s tough being a police officer,” Trump said. “Police are entrusted with immense responsibility, and we must do everything we can to ensure that they are properly trained, that they respect all members of the public and that any wrongdoing is always — and it will be by them — vigorously addressed.”
Trump did not address the issues of over-policing and police brutality that the demonstrators are protesting. He told “Fox and Friends” that he’d even suggest a stop-and-frisk policy for Chicago to help stop some of the violence there.
In recent weeks, the real estate mogul has attempted to reach out to black voters, telling them they have “nothing to lose” by voting for him. He’s also said black communities are faced with poor conditions.
Earlier this week, during a North Carolina rally, Trump promised to “rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever.”
The statistics suggest otherwise. The Census Bureau reports that almost 73 percent of black Americans do not live in poverty.