CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Hillary Clinton told the members of an African-American Church in Charlotte that an “end to end” reform of the criminal justice system was needed now.
Clinton had wanted to come to Charlotte last Sunday but was asked to delay her visit because of often violent demonstrations that followed the police shooting of Keith Scott, an African-American man.
Clinton landed at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport just before 11:00 a.m.
Her motorcade headed straight to uptown where she arrived in time for the late morning service at Little Rock AME Zion Church.
There she sat in a pew next to Congresswoman Alma Adams until she was called up to speak to the congregation.
“It has been 12 days since Mr. Scott was shot and killed,” said Clinton, who went on to talk at length about the shooting and the aftermath.
“We don’t know all the details about the shooting but we do know this family and this community is in pain,” she said.
At one point during the service, little Zianna Oliphant stood beside Clinton who talked about the girl’s emotional appeal at last week’s City Council meeting.
Clinton said, “She said we are all black people and we shouldn’t have to feel like this. It is a shame that our own fathers and mothers are killed and we can’t ever see them anymore.”
Clinton called for reform of the criminal justice system and said police officers need more training in how to de-escalate tense and emotional situations.
“In America everyone should be respected by the law and have respect for the law,” she told the congregation.
After the service, church member Beverly Irby talked about having a presidential candidate attend the service .
“I think we probably were a little surprised but we carried on with the service in a very dignified and humble way as we always do,” she said.
Clinton then went on to a stop at Mert’s Heart and Soul Restaurant where she met with a group of young African-American community leaders. There she said she wanted to spend more time listening than talking about the problems of race that are dividing the country.
Reporters and camera crews were hustled out and the meeting was held in private.
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