CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — Sunday morning, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made stops at Charlotte.
Her first stop was at a church service at Little Rock AME Zion on North McDowell Street. This was the same church where the NAACP held a press conference after Keith Lamont Scott was shot by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer.
“Please do not let hate infect your heart,” said Clinton. “I believe we need end to end reform in our criminal justice system.”
Clinton’s remarks centered around officer involved shootings nationwide, gun control, and leaving a better future for America’s children. She mentioned Zianna Oliphant, the 9-year-old from Charlotte who was to tears speaking in front of the Charlotte City Council last week. Clinton said the young girl spoke with “courage and clarity”
“I don’t like how we’re treated just because of our color – doesn’t mean anything to me. I believe that,” Zianna said at last week’s meeting before pausing and starting to cry. People in the crowd cheered “don’t stop.”
Zianna continued, “We have black people and we shouldn’t have to feel like this. We shouldn’t have to protest because you all are treating us wrong. We do this because we need to and have rights.”
“My worries are not the same as black grandmothers. They have different and deeper fears about the world their grandchildren will face,” said Clinton. “We can call for reforms to policing while still appreciating the many courageous and admirable officers out there.”
Zianna was brought up on stage and Clinton finished her remarks with her arms around the 9-year-old. She finished by emphasizing her plan to put more funding into education.
“I just could not imagine about how genuine she could be about this topic. It is the type of healing that Charlotte needs to do right now. It is inspirational,” said Sandy James, a visitor who came to hear Hillary Clinton speak.
“We all have a different level of anxiety around what happened the past couple of weeks, but I think it was a healing moment for us,” said Beverly Irby, a church member.
Clinton also made a stop at Merts in uptown to talk with six community leaders about race relations and how to move the community forward.
“There is a divide in the community when it comes to police relations when it comes the African American Community and number two, there needs to be a standard process or a standard way of thinking all across America,” said Larry Mims, one of those that met with Clinton. “How come none of the officers still be in the community as far as actually knowing the community.”
“Not everyone can march, but everyone can talk, everyone can reach out, and everyone can vote,” said Clinton
Last week, Clinton postponed her visit to Charlotte. Her visits Sunday were mostly unannounced and less formal than other rallies she’s hosted in North Carolina this year.
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