Donald Trump opened his remarks at a shale energy conference in Pittsburgh with remarks on the violence this week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Many Americans are watching the unrest in Charlotte unfolding right before their eyes,” Trump said. “...How can we lead when we can’t even control our own cities? We honor and recognize the right of 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 called for the violence “against our citizens and against law enforcement must be brought to a very rapid end.”
On Tuesday, a black man identified as Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by a police officer. His family says he was unarmed, but police said he was carrying a gun. Crowds gathered to protest the shooting Wednesday night, and during clashes with police, another man was shot and critically injured, though not by police, according to city officials.
Trump went on to lament that those who suffer most from the Charlotte riots are law-abiding African-American residents “who live in these communities where the crime is so rampant,” ane he pointed out that their communities and economic conditions suffer. In an appeal to black voters, Trump said, “Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the violent disrupter, but to make life more comfortable for the African-American parent, trying to raise their kids in peace, to walk their children to school and to get their children great educations.”
To that end, he called for more law enforcement, more community engagement and more effective policing.
He had already spoken on the topic in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning. “It’s very sad. It’s very divided, our country, and it’s getting worse,” Trump told Fox News Channel’s Steve Doocy in a phone interview. He went on to say, “It just seems that there’s a lack of spirit between the white and the black. I mean, it’s a terrible thing that we’re witnessing. You’re seeing it, I’m seeing it. And you look at what went on last night in Charlotte, a great place, and you just see it....There’s such a lack of -- there’s a lack of spirit.”
During the interview, the GOP nominee also talked about the spike in violence in Chicago, and said again that he thought the stop-and-frisk program would be effective in to stemming the outbreak of black-on-black crime there, where, he noted, “you had 3,000 shootings so far this year. Three thousand from January first. And obviously you can’t let the system go the way it’s going.”
“I suggested stop-and-frisk,” he continued, “and some people think that’s a great idea and some people probably don’t like it. But when you have 3,000 people shot and so many people dying, I mean, it’s worse than some of the places we’re hearing about, like Afghanistan.”
CBS News’ Sopan Deb contributed to this report.