- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rep. James Clyburn argued Wednesday that the conservative group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is to blame for creating the atmosphere that allowed a South Carolina police officer to fatally shoot an unarmed man in the back.

“But the problem we’ve got is that a climate has been created in the country that’s causing these things to occur all over,” the South Carolina Democrat said on MSNBC’s “Hardball.”

“They have drawn up these legislations, pieces of legislation like ‘stand your ground,’ that legislation gives a license for people to be vigilantes,” Mr. Clyburn said about ALEC. “They are the ones that are drawing up all of these so-called voter ID laws. They are the ones that have been drawing up these unfair redistricting plans.”

“These people are a cancer eating at the innards of our society,” he continued. “And it’s time for our elected officials to start speaking out about this because the climate that’s being created is not a good climate. And that’s why you have these rogue police officers feeling they have license to do what they want to do and there will be no consequences paid for it. And I think that that’s the mindset of this police officer.”

The congressman’s comments come after former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager was charged with first-degree murder of 50-year-old Walter Scott. Video footage showed Mr. Slager fatally shooting Mr. Scott eight times in the back as Mr. Scott fled the scene after a minor traffic violation.

Mr. Clyburn also appeared Wednesday on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” to discuss the shooting.

“I have been saying for several years now that a certain atmosphere seems to be created in this country that gives license to this,” he said. “All you have to do is look at this, what is it, American Legislative Exchange Council that’s been drawing up pieces of legislation, mailing them out to legislatures all over the country. ‘Stand your ground,’ that’s nothing but a law for vigilante activity.”

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