WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The killing of two black men by police officers in two days became the a point of focus for both major party candidates on Wednesday, less than a week before the first debate.
Hillary Clinton, speaking at a event in Orlando that was primarily focused on the economy, opened her remarks by sending “condolences and prayers” to the families of both men.
“There is still much we don’t know about what happened in both incidents. But we do know that we have two more names to add to the list of African Americans killed by police officers in these encounters. Its unbearable, and it needs to become intolerable,” Clinton said.
The Democratic nominee also pointed out the dangers and violence faced by police officers in many communities, looking to thread the needle on the contentious issue of how African Americans and police interact.
“We are safer when communities respect the police, and police respect communities,” she told supporters.
At an African American outreach event in Cleveland on Wednesday morning, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump initially glossed over the two killings in his remarks, speaking vaguely about splintered communities.
“We want to see that unified as quickly as possible. Those are two problems we have to get them unified and taken care of,” Trump said. “Its sad to see.”
But pressed by the event’s moderator, Trump went into much greater detail about the killing of Terence Crutcher by Tulsa, Oklahoma police. The incident was captured on police cameras, and Trump commented on the widely-seen video.
“I must tell you, I watched the shooting in particular in Tulsa. That man was hands up. That man went to the car,” Trump said. “To me it looked like he did everything you’re supposed to do. And he looked like a really good man.”
Trump, who has strongly backed police in previous similar instances, reiterated his support for law enforcement, while questioning the actions of the particular officer involved in this case.
“This young officer... I don’t know what she was thinking.,” Trump said. “I don’t know what she was thinking, but I’m very, very troubled by that.”