Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Sept. 22 that drugs are playing a "very, very big factor" in the violent protests by African-Americans in Charlotte (video below).
Trump made his assertion during a speech at the Shale Insight 2016 Conference in Pittsburgh, notes ABC News:
Many Americans are watching the unrest in Charlotte unfolding right before their eyes on the TV screens. Others are witnessing the chaos and the violence first hand. Our country looks bad to the world, especially when we are supposed to be the world's leader. And If you're not aware, drugs are a very, very big factor in what you're watching on television at night.
Trump didn't provide proof that drugs were playing a big factor in the violent protests, but said that his administration would "make the reduction of crime a top priority," and he called for a "national anti-crime agenda to make our cities safe again."
On Sept. 21, Trump said during a town hall that he would institute New York City's former "stop-and-frisk" police procedure, which was ruled unconstitutional by a judge in 2013.
The protests in Charlotte began after Keith Lamont Scott, an African-American man, was shot and killed by police on Sept. 20. Scott was not wanted by police, but they saw his vehicle while answering another call.
The police said that Scott refused to drop a gun, so an officer fatally shot him. However, a woman who identified herself as Scott's daughter said on a live Facebook video that her dad was reading a book in his car and didn't have a gun; some protesters rioted on Sept. 20 and 21.
Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina was asked on a BBC news show on Sept. 22 about the grievance of the protesters, notes The News & Observer.
Pittenger placed the blame on black people who don't like successful whites and the bondage of welfare:
The grievance in their minds is the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not. Yes it is, it is a welfare state. We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare, but we’ve put people in bondage, so that they can’t be all that they’re capable of being.
Scott's widow and family viewed a police video of the shooting on Sept. 22, and said that Scott got out of his vehicle in a "very calm, non-aggressive manner," tweeted WCNC.
The family also said that when police gave Scott commands, he did not "aggressively approach" police or raise his hands, and was walking backwards with his hands at his side when he was shot and killed.
The family is calling on the Charlotte-Macklenburg Police Department to release the video. The police have so far refused to do so by citing a North Carolina law, but that law does not go into effect until Oct. 1.