Trump says ‘more white people’ are killed by police than black Americans

Donald Trump has refused to answer a question about police violence against black people, and instead claimed “more white people” are killed by officers in the US than African Americans.

The US president was being interviewed by CBS reporter Catherine Herridge on Tuesday when he was asked why black people are still dying at the hands of law enforcement.

“So are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask. So are white people,” Trump responded.

“More white people, by the way. More white people.”

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According to a Washington Post investigation and database tracking US deaths at the hands of police, white people make up around half the annual figure, while black Americans account for 24% of those fatally shot and killed by the police.

But it also notes that the Census Bureau estimates that African Americans make up about 13% of the US population, while 76% is white, meaning black people are around 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers in the country.

Also in the interview, Mr Trump defended the use of the Confederate flag as a mark of “freedom of speech”.

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The flag is a hugely divisive symbol in the US. Some of the population argue it represents heritage, while others point towards its association with slavery and its use by white supremacists.

“I know people that like the Confederate flag and they’re not thinking about slavery,” Mr Trump said.

“I look at NASCAR, you go to NASCAR, you had those flags all over the place, they stopped it. I just think it’s freedom of speech – whether its Confederate flags, or Black Lives Matter, or anything else you want to talk about – it’s freedom of speech.”

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The president’s reference to NASCAR pointed to the association’s decision in June to ban Confederate flags at its events.

It came after the only black driver in the top series called for change following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis in May.

Mr Trump has made a number of recent moves to protect Confederate monuments across the US after they became targets of protests sparked after Mr Floyd’s death.

He signed an executive order in June to protect federal monuments, and threatened action against Congress should its annual defence authorisation bill suggest changing the names of military bases named after Confederate commanders.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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