Clin­ton says shoot­ings show need to pro­tect chil­dren

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ken Thomas

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C. >> Hil­lary Clin­ton said Sun­day that the spate of gun vi­o­lence in the United States should call the na­tion to do more to pro­tect “all of God’s chil­dren.”

Clin­ton ad­dressed con­gre­gants at Lit­tle Rock AME Zion Church in Char­lotte, North Carolina, fewer than two weeks af­ter the shoot­ing death of Keith La­mont Scott touched off two nights of vi­o­lent protests in the city’s down­town.

“Pro­tect­ing all of God’s chil­dren is Amer­ica’s call­ing,” the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee said. Clin­ton said too many black fam­i­lies have been forced to deal

with the same tragedy as Scott’s fam­ily.

“Our en­tire coun­try should take a mo­ment to re­ally look at what’s go­ing on here and across Amer­ica, to imag­ine what we see on the news and what we hear about, imag­ine it through our chil­dren’s eyes,” she said.

Clin­ton had planned to visit the city last week but de­layed the trip af­ter city of­fi­cials said their re­sources were stretched thin. North Carolina is among the na­tion’s top bat­tle­ground states and Clin­ton’s cam­paign has in­vested heav­ily in the state won by Repub­li­can Mitt Rom­ney in the 2012 elec­tion.

Clin­ton did not men­tion Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump by name but ref­er­enced her op­po­nent’s calls for “law-and-or­der” dur­ing the cam­paign.

“There are some out there who see this as a mo­ment to fan the flames of re­sent­ment and divi­sion.

Who want to ex­ploit peo­ple’s fears even though it means tear­ing our na­tion even fur­ther apart,” Clin­ton said. “They say that all of our prob­lems would be solved sim­ply by more law and or­der. As if the sys­temic racism plagu­ing our coun­try doesn’t ex­ist.”

The for­mer sec­re­tary of state has made gun con­trol and crim­i­nal jus­tice re­form a cen­ter­piece of her cam­paign, speak­ing af­ter high-pro­file shoot­ings in Texas, Louisiana and South Carolina. She pointed to the shoot­ings of po­lice of­fi­cers in Dal­las; Ba­ton Rouge, Louisiana; and Philadel­phia; and said their fam­i­lies de­served prayers.

“It’s been a hard year, hasn’t it?” Clin­ton asked, as peo­ple in the con­gre­ga­tion re­sponded, “Yes.” “Think about how many times Pres­i­dent Obama has had to con­sole our na­tion about an­other sense­less tragedy, an­other shat­tered fam­ily, an­other dis­tressed com­mu­nity and our chil­dren are watch­ing and they feel it too.”

Dur­ing the ser­vices, Clin­ton in­vited 9-yearold

Zianna Oliphant to join her at the pul­pit, re­call­ing the black child’s tear­ful ad­dress to the city coun­cil on race re­la­tions. Zianna re­cently told city lead­ers that she couldn’t “stand how we’re treated,” a speech that Clin­ton said moved her to tears.

Clin­ton ac­knowl­edged the gap in how white and black chil­dren are treated. She said that while she wor­ries about her two grand­chil­dren, her wor­ries “are not the same as black grand­moth­ers” not­ing her daugh­ter’s chil­dren are re­lated to a for­mer pres­i­dent and sec­re­tary of state.

“Let’s be hon­est, they won’t face the same kind of fear we heard from the young chil­dren tes­ti­fy­ing be­fore the city coun­cil,” she said. Clin­ton later met pri­vately with com­mu­nity lead­ers at a down­town soul food restau­rant.

Scott was shot Sept. 20 while stand­ing out­side his ve­hi­cle. Po­lice say he was armed but video re­leased by Char­lotte-Meck­len­burg author­i­ties was in­con­clu­sive. The of­fi­cer who shot Scott is also black.

AN­DREW HARNIK — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton takes her seat af­ter speak­ing at the Lit­tle Rock AME Zion Church in Char­lotte, N.C., Sun­day.

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