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On MSNBC, Rawlings-Blake says no 'quick' or 'easy' way to fix race relations in America

On MSNBC this afternoon, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake addressed the violent protests in Charlotte sparked by the killing of 43-year-old Keith Scott by police. 

Rawlings-Blake compared the events in Charlotte to the protests and violence that followed the death of Freddie Gray in police custody last year in Baltimore. 

She told host Thomas Roberts that there are no "quick" or "easy" ways to fix race relations in America or the relationship between police and African-American communities. 

"We have a difficult and complex history in our country when it comes to race," Rawlings-Blake said, invoking the country's history of racism, forced segregation and poverty. "It's about dealing with these underlying issues. Some people are looking for easy answers. Nothing is going to be quick. Nothing is going to be easy."

Rawlings-Blake said her staff has reached out to officials in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to offer support.

"We are all in those together," she said.

She said officials have to work to restore trust with communities.

"People don’t trust police officers," she said. "Many communities don’t trust elected official or the media. ... I focused so much in Baltimore on building relationships.  ... Even with those things in place we still erupted in violence."

The mayor made similar comments in an interview with CNN this morning.

According to The Guardian's database The Counted, Scott is among 790 people killed by American police this year, including 387 white residents, 194 black residents and 130 Hispanic residents. Native American and black residents are killed by police at the highest rates in comparison to their percentages of the population. 

By comparison, Canada averages about 25 fatal police shooting per year; Germany averages less than eight fatal police shootings per year; and Iceland has had just one fatal police shooting in the nation's 71 years of existence. 

lbroadwater@baltsun.com  

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