Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump Saturday attempted to use the fatal shooting of NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin to forward his campaign and garner more African-American votes.
In a tweet misspelling the Chicago Bulls player’s name, Trump said: “Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”
Nykea Aldridge, 32, was killed when she was caught in crossfire while pushing a baby stroller down a South Side Chicago street Friday. Although she was not the intended target, the mother of four was shot in the head and arm, succumbing to the injuries at a hospital 45 minutes later.
Wade, a former Miami Heat star who is an open critic of gun violence, confirmed the news in a tweet.
Trump later deleted his original tweet to correctly spell Wade’s name.
The comment received severe backlash on social media with users calling out the Republican nominee for being insensitive to the family’s tragedy and using it for his political benefit.
An hour later, Trump posted another tweet, offering his condolences to the family. However, there has been no official statement from Wade on Trump’s move.
At a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, where he affirmed his plan to crack down on illegal immigrants and those who overstay their visas in a bid to allay the conservatives, Trump also commented on Aldridge’s death.
“Just yesterday, the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, a great guy Dwyane Wade, was the victim of a tragic shooting in Chicago,” he said. “It breaks all of our hearts to see it. It’s horrible. It’s horrible and it’s only getting worse. This shouldn’t happen in our country. It shouldn’t happen in America.”
“So we send our thoughts and prayers to the family and we also promise to fight for a much, much better tomorrow,” Trump added.
Tim Kaine, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick, criticized Trump’s politicization of the death and told reporters: “We just ought to be extending our sympathy to the family. That’s the only reaction that is appropriate right now and maybe a sadness about this gun violence issue.”
According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton leads Trump 91 percent to 1 percent among African-Americans, making Trump’s attempt look like a desperate bid at turning the odds for him.
Wade took to twitter to use the hashtag “#EnoughIsEnough” to talk about the current situation of the country with respect to gun laws, but refrained from commenting about Trump.