Trump bristles at question about police killing Blacks

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Trump bristles at question about police killing Blacks
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Trump bristles at question about police killing Blacks
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President Donald Trump bristled at a reporter’s question about police killing African Americans and defended the right to display the Confederate flag as he continued to play into racial divisions in a pair of interviews Tuesday.

In one interview, Trump seemed taken aback when asked why African Americans are still dying at the hands of police.

“And so are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask. So are white people,” Trump told CBS’s Catherine Herridge. “More white people, by the way. More white people.”

There is no national database tracking police-involved shootings. But studies have shown that Black Americans are much more likely to be killed by police, even though more whites — who make up a larger portion of the population — are killed. One study that examined the use of lethal force by law enforcement from 2009 to 2012, for instance, found that while victims were a majority white (52%), they were disproportionately Black (32%) with a fatality rate 2.8 times higher among Blacks than whites.

Trump’s comments drew criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union’s Jeffery Robinson, who issued a harshly worded statement saying Trump’s answer “not only ignores the fact that per capita Black and Brown people are disproportionately killed by police, it provides the foundation for the dangerous and unconstitutional police practices that result in the deaths of Black people with regularity.

“Trump’s racism is so absolute that he continues to refuse to give even a tacit acknowledgment to the epidemic of police violence against Black people in America,” Robinson alleged, accusing Trump of “using the violence and suffering perpetrated against Black communities as a white-supremacist dog whistle ahead of the coming election.”

In the interview, Trump also defended the use of the Confederate flag, despite saying in 2015 that he believed the flag belongs in a museum.

“All I say is freedom of speech. It’s very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech,” Trump responded. “Very simple. Like it, don’t like it, it’s freedom of speech.”

Asked whether he understood the flag is a painful symbol to many because it is a reminder of slavery, Trump told CBS that some “people love it,” adding: “And I know people that like the Confederate flag and they’re not thinking about slavery.”

You can read the rest of Jill Colvin’s article at ABCnews.com

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