Po­lice shoot­ings take po­lit­i­cal stage

Clin­ton raps ‘un­bear­able’ news; ‘trou­bled’ Trump hails frisk­ings

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Jill Colvin and Ken Thomas

CLEVE­LAND — Don­ald Trump and Hil­lary Clin­ton de­cried a fresh round of po­lice-in­volved shoot­ings, with the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee say­ing he was “very trou­bled” by the killing of a black man by a white po­lice of­fi­cer in Ok­la­homa.

Court­ing black vot­ers who have long spurned Repub­li­cans, Trump’s event Wed­nes­day in Cleve­land Heights’ New Spirit Re­vival Cen­ter took a bizarre turn when he 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 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 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.

At the end of the Ohio church event or­ga­nized by mem­bers of his di­ver­sity coali­tion, Trump was asked about re­cent high-pro­file po­lice shoot­ings in Ok­la­homa and North Carolina.

Trump said Ter­ence Crutcher, 40, who was killed in Fri­day’s Tulsa, Okla., shoot­ing, “looked like he did ev­ery­thing you’re sup­posed to do. And he looked like a re­ally good man.”

“This young of­fi­cer, I don’t know what she was think­ing,” he said.

But hours later he called for the ex­panded use of stop-and-frisk, a po­lice tac­tic that a fed­eral judge has ruled can be dis­crim­i­na­tory against mi­nori­ties. Trump said dur­ing a Fox News town hall tap­ing that the tac­tic that gives po­lice the abil­ity to stop and search any­one they deem sus­pi­cious had “worked in­cred­i­bly well” in New York, where it ex­panded un­der for­mer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Clin­ton made no di­rect men­tion of Trump in a speech Wed­nes­day in Or­lando, Fla.

She pointed to the Ok­la­homa and North Carolina shoot­ings at the start of her re­marks, say­ing it added two more names “to a long list of African-Amer­i­cans killed by po­lice of­fi­cers. It’s un­bear­able and it needs to be­come in­tol­er­a­ble.”

Clin­ton has made curb­ing gun vi­o­lence and po­lice bru­tal­ity a cen­tral part of her can­di­dacy. She has cam- paigned 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, all vic­tims of high-pro­file killings.

Clin­ton pledged to pro­vide more job op­por­tu­ni­ties to peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and get rid of the sub­min­i­mum wage for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

While she steered clear of Trump— with the ex­cep­tion of her cam­paign mantra, “Love trumps hate,” — the topic was an im­plicit poke at Trump’s much-pub­li­cized mock­ing of a jour­nal­ist with a phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity last year.

EVAN VUCCI/AP

Box­ing pro­moter Don King’s use of a racial slur in in­tro­duc­ing Don­ald Trump raised brows.

JOE BUR­BANK/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL

Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton meets and greets back­ers at a cam­paign stop Wed­nes­day in Or­lando, Fla.

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