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Trump Dismisses 'Narrative of Cops as a Racist Force' at Penn. Rally

Trump said "the problem is there are not enough police" in criticizing what he called an anti-police narrative following officer-involved shootings.
Image: A statue of the movie boxer Rocky stands near the stage entrance as Trump holds a rally with supporters in Aston, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in Aston, Pennsylvania, Sept. 22.JONATHAN ERNST / Reuters

ASTON, Pa. — Donald Trump on Thursday denounced what he called a narrative of racist policing in the wake of fatal officer-involved shootings of African-American men, and said his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton shared responsibility for unrest in cities like Charlotte.

"Those peddling the narrative of cops as a racist force in our society — and this is a narrative that is supported with a nod by my opponent, you see what she's saying and it's not good — share directly in the responsibility for the unrest that is afflicting our country and hurting those who have really the very least, people that are having a hard time," Trump said.

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Although he did not mention Charlotte by name, Trump spoke in Pennsylvania as a third night of protests began in the North Carolina city following the police shooting of a man authorities said was armed on Tuesday. Protests Tuesday and Wednesday turned violent.

Trump, who has consistently espoused a pro-police view on the trial, said that "the problem is not that there are too many police. The problem is that there are not enough police."

Bringing more law enforcement to communities, Trump said, would help make America safer.

Trump continued to pursue a narrative of his campaign of late that America’s inner cities are plagued by violence, and called Clinton out of touch.

"Hillary Clinton does not have to worry about the sirens and the gunshots at night," Trump said. "She doesn't worry about it. She's sleeping. She's sleeping. No, it's the poor family living in the inner city. It's the mother who feels like a refugee in her own country. Who is there to represent these families?"

Related: Trump's Racial Rhetoric on Crime Puts Him in a Political Bind

According to Trump, minorities are the ones suffering when riots and violence pop up as if has in Charlotte. "Low-income African Americans and Latinos in these communities are the ones suffering in terms of lost jobs, lost property values and, really, lost lives," he said.

At no time during Thursday's rally did Trump note that some of the lives lost — specifically central to recent events in Charlotte and Tulsa — are due to officer involved shootings of black men.

Related: Black Cops at Odds With Fraternal Order of Police Over Trump Endorsement

Trump also previewed a new line on higher education and student loan debt, lacking specifics but going deeper than he has before into what he hopes to accomplish.

The GOP nominee said he hoped to "break the cycle" of high education costs coupled with crippling student debt by working "with Congress on reforms to make sure that if universities want access to all of these special federal tax breaks and tax dollars, paid for by you, that they are going to make good-faith efforts to reduce the cost of college and student debt, and to spend their endowments on their students rather than other things that don't matter."

Trump did not specify what reforms specifically he would pursue.