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US police being trained by Israel to be an occupying army: Pastor

American demonstrators march during protests September 22, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (AFP photo)

Press TV has conducted an interview with Graylan Hagler, a pastor and justice advocate, and Lawrence J. Korb, a former US assistant secretary of defense, both from Washington, to discuss recent protests against racism in the US state of North Carolina.

Hagler said Israel is training the US police force with a mindset to become an occupying army. 

The remarks made on Press TV during a program to debate US police brutality came as police in Charlotte confronted protesters for a third evening on Thursday night amid boiling anger over the death of African American Keith Lamont Scott.

The pastor touched on a series of incidents involving police killing of African Americans in recent years and their acquittal from any wrongdoing, saying they have generated "an underlying anger" within the black community.   

He said "the phenomenon of racism among police forces is rampant no matter the officers are black or white."  

"There is a governmental culture to look at the law enforcement as innocent until there are egregious and glaring examples that undermines their innocence," the pastor said.

"Another problem with the law enforcement in the US is American police officers are being trained by the Israeli regime to be an occupying army in the midst of the black community," Hagler added.

Many African Americans have been shot dead in recent years, leading to a series of protests and court trials which have failed to check the repeat of those incidents. 

In court trials, police officers have mostly defended their actions as a measure against the threat which they faced because the victims carried arms, but in other cases those shot dead even did not carry arms. 

Hagler said the important issue about US police officers’ attitude toward African Americans is not whether the victims carried weapons by themselves or not.

"The main problem is a pervasive atmosphere that has existed in places like Charlotte, Baltimore and Minneapolis that people feel the law enforcement has been set up to set upon them, to push them around, to contain them, and to deny constitutional rights and human values.”

The viewpoint of the law enforcement, he said, is secured by the system which "looks at the law enforcement as being those agents that basically keep communities and particular communities in check and in sense relegates the movement and freedom of those communities.”    

Korb, another participant in "The Debate" program said, “There is no doubt about the fact that if you are an African American your chances of being pulled over or arrested are greater than if you are not.”

The shooting death of Scott happened at a time when anti-police sentiment is already high across the US due to a surge of unjustified killings of unarmed African Americans.

On Thursday, mayor of Charlotte imposed a curfew effective midnight as protesters and police in the city confronted each other for a third evening.  

Demonstrators marched to the city police station carrying signs saying "Stop killing us" and "Resistance is beautiful."  Many were shouting, "No Justice, No Peace.”

Police officers armed with rifles fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at several hundred protesters blocking a highway.

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