Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, went several days without commenting on the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge but broke his silence with a statement this morning on the “senseless, tragic death” without directly naming Sterling.
However, Trump mistakenly referred to Sterling, 37, as a “motorist” in Louisiana.
Sterling was fatally shot by police in a convenience store parking lot where he sold CDs. His interaction with Baton Rouge police that lead to the deadly shooting had nothing to do with him being a “motorist.” Video of the shooting has been widely circulated and drawn national attention. The Department of Justice and FBI are investigating.
Trump also expressed his sympathies over the death of Philando Castile, the Minnesota man who was fatally shot during a traffic stop.
“This morning I offer my thoughts and prayers for all of the victims’ families, and we pray for our brave police officers and first responders who risk their lives to protect us every single day,” Trump said in the statement. “Our nation has become too divided. Too many Americans feel like they’ve lost hope. Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better. This isn’t the American Dream we all want for our children.”
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, commented on Sterling’s death Wednesday night.
“All over America, there are police officers demonstrating how to protect the public without resorting to unnecessary force,” she said in the statement. “We need to learn from and build on those examples.”
On Thursday, President Barack Obama commented on Sterling’s death in a Facebook post and a live broadcast online.
We’ve seen such tragedies far too many times, and our hearts go out to the families and communities who’ve suffered such a painful loss,” he said.
Trump Statement re Dallas Shooting: pic.twitter.com/bpDsMV5eOl— WFAA-TV (@wfaachannel8) July 8, 2016
Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp.