The Fraternal Order of Police has severely criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for commenting on the actions of Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed an unarmed black man. She was subsequently charged with first-degree manslaughter. His remarks were made in a black church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
“I watched the shooting in particular in Tulsa, and the man was hands-up,” said Trump. “That man went to the car, hands up, put his hand on the car. I mean, to me, it looked like he did everything you’re supposed to do, and he looked like a really good man.” He also questioned the capability of Shelby. “Now did she get scared? Was she choking? What happened? But maybe people like that, people can choke, people that do that, maybe they can’t be doing what they’re doing, okay? They can’t be doing what they’re doing.” He added that he was “very, very troubled” by the death.
Trump made the comments Wednesday following the shooting death of Terence Crutcher. He had just been endorsed by the 330,000 member police union on Friday, September 16.
Jim Pasco, executive director of the Order, said that Trump should not criticize before knowing police procedures. “”He (Trump) must be mindful of the due process, rights and presumption of innocence accorded to all, including police officers.”
The union has not pulled its endorsement of Trump. In the past, he has been supportive of police in their conflicts with the African-American community following shootings. The endorsement came after nation-wide voting from state chapters.