Just days after two black men were fatally shot by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina, vice presidential hopeful Mike Pence on Thursday urged an audience of evangelical leaders to “set aside talk” of institutional racism, the Associated Press reported.
Speaking at a roundtable of pastors in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Pence said police officers are “the best of us” and the public should avoid focusing on talking about racism, which he called the “rhetoric of division.”
“Donald Trump and I both believe that there’s been far too much of this talk of institutional bias or racism in law enforcement,” Pence said, according to the AP.
Asked by Bishop John Brannon, who is African-American, what Pence would “personally do” to heal divides in the country, Pence brought up the recent shootings.
“When there’s any loss of life, we have to speak with compassion, we have to make it clear that there will be a thorough investigation and that justice will be served and that high standards will be upheld,” Pence said.