- The Washington Times - Friday, September 23, 2016

President Obama responded to the recent unrest in North Carolina over the shooting death of a black man at the hands of police by saying looting and breaking glass are things that “are not going to advance the cause.”

“I think it’s important to separate out the pervasive sense of frustration among a lot of African-Americans about shootings of people and the sense that justice is not always color blind,” Mr. Obama said in an interview that aired Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“What we’ve seen over the last several years is the overwhelming majority of people who have been concerned about police-community relations doing it the right way,” he said. “Every once in a while you see folks doing it the wrong way.”

“Looting, breaking glass — those things are not going to advance the cause,” he said. “In Charlotte, my hope is is that in the days to come that people in the community pull together and say ‘how do we do this the right way?’”

Violent protests erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina, earlier this week after the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man who was killed Tuesday by a black police officer.

Scott’s family said he had been reading a book in his car, but police have said he had a gun he didn’t drop when ordered to by officers.

Police said a man shot during Wednesday’s protests died Thursday. In response to the unrest, the city of Charlotte instituted a midnight-to-6 a.m. curfew late Thursday into Friday morning.

The unfolding events in North Carolina also followed the recent shooting death of Terence Crutcher, a black man, at the hands of a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prosecutors announced Thursday that Officer Betty Shelby is being charged with felony manslaughter in that case.

“I’ve made it a policy not to comment on the specifics of these issues because in the case of Tulsa, for example, the mayor has invited the Justice Department in to conduct an investigation,” Mr. Obama said.

“I’ve said this repeatedly: Police have a really tough job,” he said. “Typically, they’re interacting with somebody who, for whatever reason, is not looking forward to interacting with the police.”

“On the other hand, if you have repeated instances in which the perception is at least that this might not have been handled the same way were it not for the element of race, even if it’s unconscious, I think it’s important for all of us to say we want to get this right,” he said.

“This should be a source of concern for all Americans,” he said.

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