Trump comments on all kinds of issues that seem beneath him, but when it comes to police killing black men, it's just a 'local' issue that doesn't concern him.
The White House suddenly became tightlipped Wednesday and refused to opine on the issue of police murdering blacks, dismissing the topic as a “local” issue.
The statement, made by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is a reversal for Trump. He has repeatedly weighed in on issues occurring at the local level, elevating them to national prominence with his bully pulpit and his Twitter account.
April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks asked Sanders about the decision not to charge police officers in the case of Alton Sterling. Louisiana police shot and killed Sterling, a father of five, in an incident that was caught on video.
Ryan also noted the case of Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed in his grandmother’s backyard while holding a cell phone, which police claim they thought was a gun.
Both men were black.
Sanders said the shooting was a “terrible incident,” but ultimately “a local matter” and indicated that Trump would not be weighing in on the case.
But Trump has been more than happy to weigh in on so-called local matters.
He blasted the killing of Kate Steinle in California by an undocumented immigrant as a “complete travesty of justice.”
When he gave his first State of the Union address, he invited the parents of teenage girls who were killed by the MS-13 gang. He referred to “two precious girls” who “were brutally murdered.”
The mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida, were not federal crimes, and yet Trump acknowledged both incidents. He visited the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and hosted multiple White House events related to the Florida shooting.
Dismissing the systemic abuse and killing of black Americans by police is in tune with Trump’s rhetoric. It isn’t that it is a “local” issue; it’s that he doesn’t sympathize with the victims and doesn’t care.
He has used his presidency to attack and lambast black NFL players who have tried to draw attention to police violence by kneeling during the anthem at games. He has pushed NFL owners to fine or otherwise penalize those players, while dismissing the racism and murder they are speaking up about.
While Trump has had time to praise neo-Nazis and draw attention to crime he could link to his anti-immigrant beliefs, he has no time to highlight the racist treatment of blacks by law enforcement.
When black people are killed through state-sanctioned action, Trump shrugs and pawns it off to local officials. He doesn’t care, and his spokesperson made it crystal clear.