President Obama called for a “peaceful” and “thoughtful” resolution in Charlotte on Thursday in an interview with ABC at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“The way we change the system requires us to be able to reach out and engage the broader American community,” Obama said, speaking for the first time about the protests in Charlotte over a police shooting involving an African American man. “That requires being peaceful, that requires being thoughtful about what are the specific reforms you’re looking for,” he continued.
While Obama said some individuals have resorted to violence, the majority have responded to such tragedies in an appropriate way.
“Every once in a while, you see folks doing it the wrong way,” he said.
The White House said President Obama has spoken to Jennifer Roberts, Charlotte mayor, over the phone as well as Governor McCrory to offer federal assistance and express his condolences.
Obama’s comments come after Republican North Carolina legislator Robert Pittengersaid the protestors “hate white people.”
“They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” Pittenger said.
The lawmaker also criticized the country’s welfare system, claiming it has “put people in bondage so they can’t be all that they’re capable of being.”
Pittenger, who is under investigation by the IRS and FBI for connections to his former real estate firm, has apologized for his comments, which he says he regrets.