Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that the officer who arrested Sandra Bland was “overly aggressive” and “terrible” and that African-Americans “might” be the victim of over-aggressive cops more than white people in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN.
Trump was asked, in the context of Bland’s arrest and death, “To African-Americans in this country, and there’s a lot of people believe that they are treated differently by police, do you believe that there’s a problem with that?”
He answered, “I hope not. But I will fell you, I saw that clip, on your show, by the way. I thought it was terrible. I thought he was so aggressive. I — it was a traffic signal as I understand it. And who gets out of a car for a traffic signal? I haven’t been pulled over in a while actually. But, seriously, who — he just looked very aggressive. I didn’t like his demeanor. I thought it was terrible, to be honest with you. And I’m a huge fan of the police. I think the police have to be given back power. But this guy was overly aggressive, terrible aggressive.”
Cooper followed up, “Do you think that happens to African-Americans more than it does to you or I?”
Trump responded, “I hope it doesn’t, but it might. And, you know, I have a great relationship with African-Americans, as you possibly have heard. I just have great respect for them. And they like me. I like them. The answer is, it possibly does, it shouldn’t. And it’s very sad, if the case is. I will say though, in this case, I watched that so closely. I watched it a few times. He was terrible.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett