Another unarmed African American was shot to death by a police officer.
The latest incident occurred on Sept. 16 in Tulsa, Okla., where police officer Betty Shelby shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher during a confrontation in the middle of a road. The shooting was captured on police dashcam and helicopter video.
Shelby’s attorney said Crutcher was not following the officers’ commands and that Shelby was concerned because he kept reaching for his pocket as if he were carrying a weapon.
Newly released video from a police helicopter and a police cruiser’s dashboard cam show the last minutes of his life, as he walks with his hands raised toward his SUV parked on the dividing line of a two-lane street, while three officers have their guns drawn on him.
Even Republican candidate Donald Trump, an apologist for past police shootings, said he didn’t know what the police officer was thinking when she shot Crutcher.
Trump said during an appearance Wednesday at a Cleveland Heights church that he is a “tremendous believer in the police and law and enforcement.” Trump has the endorsement of the national Fraternal Order of Police and Philadelphia’s Fraternal Order of Police.
But Trump is questioning the actions of the police officer who shot and killed Crutcher.
Trump said he had seen video of the incident, and that it looked like Crutcher had done everything right.
Trump said he was “very, very troubled” by the actions of the officer. He said: “People that choke, people that do that, maybe they can’t be doing what they’re doing.”
“This horrible shooting again. How many times do we have to see this in our country? In Tulsa, an unarmed man with his hands in the air,” Clinton said, calling into “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.”
While Trump and Clinton’s expression of concern are welcome it is not enough. As presidential candidates they must address the question of police violence against citizens with a comprehensive plan in a major public forum.
Police shootings of unarmed citizens has led to protests, riots and a growing distrust between police and African Americans and poor and working-class communities across the country.
During the first televised presidential debate on Sept. 26, Clinton and Trump should be questioned on this issue and they should be expected to tell the American people what they plan to do to address this urgent national problem.