With a state of emergency declared for the city of Charlotte, North Carolina in the wake of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein weighed in on the situation in Charlotte as well as mounting concerns over the broader issue of police shootings.
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Stein responded to questions of how she would respond to the situation in Charlotte if she were the commander-in-chief.
“Well, as commander-in-chief I think we badly need de-escalation. I think police need de-escalation techniques. This was clearly, you know, the guy was sitting in his car, whether he happened to have a gun or not, you know, a lot of Americans have guns. But clearly this was a case that was initiated by the cops and a guy waiting to pick up his son at a bus stop,” Stein told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
Stein also pointed out the police shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma just days before the incident in Charlotte.
“So, there is an issue here of aggressive policing in the context of another shooting just a couple days before in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the case of a man that had his hands up who was absolutely complying with police orders, whose car had broken down in the street, that’s why he came to police attention.”
Stein then discussed the broader issue of the troubling trend of police shootings.
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“In all these cases it’s a matter of very aggressive policing and people feeling like the video tape that keeps running over and over, we’re stuck in a loop that, in which there is police violence. There’s been about 700 cases of deaths at the hands of police this year.”
Along with Stein’s concerns about aggressive policing, she viewed the climate of fear as adding to the tension.
“There are background elements here in which there is fear across the board. We live in a Garrison State now, we live in a society divided by fear. That’s why we call not only for accountable policing and community control, but also for a truth and reconciliation commission.”
Stein says these fears are particularly prevalent in the African-American community.
“People are up in arms and feel like they are on the firing lines simply for sitting in their car while black.”
If she were elected president, Stein says she would address those fears as well as what she views as aggressive police practices.
“I would also be moving to address this underlying climate of fear in which these tragedies happen. And I would be working with police to train them in de-escalation techniques, not aggressive intervention that precipitates this kind of a crisis.”