Republican Senator Tim Scott says he saw "no justification" for Kenosha cops to shoot Jacob Blake

Senator Tim Scott on RNC, Kenosha shooting
Senator Tim Scott on RNC, Kenosha shooting 08:39

The third night of the Republican National Convention coincided with the third night of demonstrations in Wisconsin — and the often optimistic, upbeat tones of the GOP's event sharply contrasted with the calls for change in Kenosha as protesters rallied against the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

Republican Senator Tim Scott, who touted President Trump's record on racial issues during his opening night RNC speech, said he was "frustrated" that such incidents keep happening.

"Looking at the video, I saw no justification whatsoever for those cops to shoot that young man," Scott said in an interview Thursday with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King. "We need to get to the root of the issue."

Cellphone video from Sunday showed Jacob Blake, who is Black, walking away from police and opening the door of his car when a White police officer grabbed onto his shirt from behind and shot Blake seven times in the back. He remains hospitalized with serious injuries. The shooting sparked national outrage following months of protests over the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black Americans.

Scott defended the Trump administration from accusations that the president's rhetoric has contributed to racial divisions or public unrest.

"I think that anyone that tries to make what we're seeing in Minneapolis or now in Kenosha into an issue with President Trump would not do so during the Obama years, when we had the Walter Scott shooting or the Dylann Roof shooting," he said. "These are not new issues."

Rather than seeing it as a "political issue," he called it "an issue of the heart."

"Though it seems to be happening far more often to folks who are African American than not. That frustrates me, to be honest with you," he said.

Scott credited the wide availability of video cameras for bringing such incidents to light, enabling us to respond to issues of racism and police violence "at a higher level." 

"Now we're having a chance to solve some of these issues. And that's one of the reasons why I'm still at the table working with Karen Bass and other members of the [Congressional Black Caucus] on police reform," he said. 

Two of the reforms, Scott suggested, should be more training, including deescalation training, and a wider availability of police cameras.

He also called on President Trump to address the unrest in Kenosha in his Thursday convention speech.

"The truth is we have made tremendous strides in the right direction," Scott said. "We can save lives by not allowing the issue of police reform to become a political issue. It has to be an issue where people of good intention come together and solve problems."