Dead Negro Terence Crutcher had stopped his car in the middle of a busy road and was running around like a chicken with its head cut off before he was shot by Betty Shelby. Crutcher had a long rap sheet and had spent years in prison. Shelby was an award winning cop.
Trump just blew it.
Published on Sep 22, 2016
Donald Trump said Wednesday that a Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer may have ‘choked’ when she shot and killed a unarmed ‘really good’ black man on Friday.
‘I’m a tremendous believer in the police and law enforcement, because we need that for ourselves. We do,’ Trump told a meeting of pastors at New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
‘They’re great people. Now [with] great people you always have problems. You have somebody in there who either makes a mistake, [someone] that’s bad, or that High-profile police shootings of black men have been a tightrope for Republicans this year as they risk appearing unsympathetic to families of the deceased when they show support for law enforcement.
Trump was quick to defend 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, however.
‘I watched the shooting in particular in Tulsa. And that man was hands-up. That man went to the car, hands up. Put his hand on the car,’ a hushed Trump said.
‘I mean, to me it looked like he did everything you’re supposed to do. And he looked like a really good man.’
The Republican presidential nominee conceded that his judgment might be ‘clouded’ because he ‘saw his family talking about him after the fact’ in television coverage.
More recent reporting has focused on a vial of the hallucinogenic drug PCP that police recovered from Crutcher’s car.
Police admit he did not have a gun. Video footage showed him walking toward his SUV with his hands in the air. An attorney representing Officer Betty Shelby, who fired the fatal shot, said Tuesday that Shelby had suspected Crutcher was high – and opened fire after he reached through a car window, perceiving it as a threat.
But attorneys representing Crutcher’s family held their own press conference and showed an enlarged photo of police footage indicating that the victim’s window was still closed – and stained with blood – after the shooting.
‘He is not threatening to anyone,’ lawyer Benjamin Crump said. ‘How can he be reaching into the car if the window is up and there is blood on the glass?’
Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons said even if PCP was present in Crutcher’s car, Shelby still had no justification for shooting him.
Trump seemed to side with the Crutcher family on Wednesday, while avoiding making generalizations about all police shootings involving black suspects.
‘This young officer, I don’t know what she was thinking,’ Trump said Wednesday.
‘I’m very, very troubled by that [shooting]’ he added, ‘and we have to be very careful. These things are terrible.’
‘Did she get scared? Was she choking? What happened?’ Trump asked. He earned sustained applause from the congregation dominated by black clergy when he suggested that police departments should have better screening in place to identify officers who might ‘choke’ on the job.
‘People who do that, maybe they can’t be doing what they’re doing,’ he said.
‘We all respect our police greatly, and they will just have to get better and better and better.’
Don King, a flashy former boxing promoter who accompanied Trump and his running mate Mike Pence to Cleveland, stood next to the Republican nominee and loudly proclaimed: ‘Donald J. Trump! Man of the People! President of the United States!’
During a radio interview on Tuesday, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she was shocked by the Tulsa shooting.
‘This horrible shooting, again? How many times do we have to see this in our country?’ Clinton asked host Steve Harvey, who has endorsed her.
‘In Tulsa, an unarmed man with his hands in the air? I mean, this is just unbearable, and it needs to be intolerable,’ she said.
Clinton said she would try to steer the national conversation by speaking ‘directly to white people’ and saying, ‘”Look, this is not who we are”.’