Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton hugs Zianna Oliphant, age 9, after speaking during a service at Little Rock AMC Zion Church in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 2, 2016
Charlotte (AFP) - Hillary Clinton denounced racism as she waded Sunday into one of the latest flashpoints of anger over fatal police shootings of blacks in America.
The Democratic presidential candidate's gesture came at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina where protests erupted over the September 20 killing of Keith Lamont Scott by police trying to serve an arrest warrant on someone else.
Clinton noted that she is a grandmother of two and worries about the safety of those kids amid America's epidemic of gun violence.
But she added, "my worries are not the same as black grandmothers'."
"Because my grandchildren are white, because they are the grandchildren of a former president and secretary of state, let's be honest. They won't face the kind of fear we heard from the young children testifying before the city council," Clinton said.
She was eluding to comments by a nine-year-old named Zianna Oliphant, who told local authorities last week that she felt she was treated differently than other people because she is black.
Clinton addressed the death of Scott, who was 43, in circumstances that are still not entirely clear. Police say he had a gun, but the Scott family denies this.
A curfew was imposed after three nights of violent protests over his death. Clinton had been due to visit Charlotte last Sunday but she postponed it at the request of the city's mayor.
"It has been 12 days since Mr. Scott was shot and killed," Clinton said. "We don't yet know all the details about the shooting, but we do know this community and this family is in pain."
Over the course of the campaign for the November 8 presidential election pitting her against Donald Trump, Clinton has frequently acknowledged the complaints of black Americans who accuse mainly white police departments of racism, brutality and disproportionate use of force.
Trump has tried to reach out to African Americans, but has also pressed his drive to depict himself as a tough law-and-order candidate, often paying tribute to police officers.
"We can acknowledge that implicit bias still exists," Clinton said, "without vilifying police officers."
Without naming Trump, Clinton criticized those "who want to exploit people's fears, even if it means tearing our nation even further apart. They say that all of our problems would be solved simply with more law and order, as if the systemic racism plaguing our country doesn't exist."