CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Within minutes of Hillary Clinton’s arrival in Charlotte the Democratic presidential candidate was inside Little Rock AME Zion Church talking about the shooting death of Keith Scott.
Scott was shot and killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer Sept. 20. The SBI is currently investigating the encounter.
“We don't yet know all the details of the shooting but we do know this family and this community is in pain,” Clinton told the congregation.
Little Rock AME Zion Church is a predominately black church. Some political analysts have said if Clinton wants to win North Carolina in November she must appeal to African-American voters.
Clinton stressed the need for police and criminal justice reform, specifically better training for officers on how to de-escalate situations.
“We can call for reform to policing while still appreciating the many courageous and admirable officers out there who are doing their jobs with honor and integrity,” Clinton said.
At one point, Clinton’s attention turned to Zianna Oliphant, who last week captured national attention with her tearful plea to the Charlotte City Council.
Clinton stressed the need to invest in children and their education, as well as what she described as common sense gun law reforms.
“We have to fight for common sense reforms to stop the epidemic of gun violence in our communities,” said Clinton. “Gun violence is by far the leading cause of death for young black men. More than the next nine causes combined.”
Clinton later took those talking points to a round table discussion with seven Charlotte community activists at Merts in Uptown Charlotte.
“I want to spend a lot more time listening than talking," Clinton said, with a cup of coffee before her.
Media wasn’t allowed to stay for the conversation but Clinton’s aide said the discussions centered on racial, economic and social justice issues.
Clinton visited Charlotte one week ahead of the second general election debate which will be held Oct. 9.
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