NC congressman says Charlotte protesters ‘hate white people’

Debris falls upon Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and protesters as officers began to push protesters from the intersection near the Epicentre in Charlotte, N.C. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Authorities in Charlotte tried to quell public anger Wednesday after a police officer shot a black man, but a dusk prayer vigil turned into a second night of violence, with police firing tear gas at angry protesters and a man being critically wounded by gunfire. North Carolina's governor declared a state of emergency in the city. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)
Debris falls upon Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and protesters as officers began to push protesters from the intersection near the Epicentre in Charlotte, N.C. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Authorities in Charlotte tried to quell public anger Wednesday after a police officer shot a black man, but a dusk prayer vigil turned into a second night of violence, with police firing tear gas at angry protesters and a man being critically wounded by gunfire. North Carolina's governor declared a state of emergency in the city. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina congressman says people are protesting in Charlotte because they “hate white people.”

U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Republican whose district includes parts of Charlotte, was asked by an interviewer for Britain’s BBC TV what grievance the protesters have.

In the video posted online Thursday, Pittenger responded: “The grievance in their mind is – the animus, the anger – they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.”

He later released a statement apologizing and saying that anguish over the situation led him to give a response he regretted.

Chaotic protests broke out Tuesday and Wednesday in Charlotte after a black man was shot to death by a police officer.

The North Carolina Democratic Party released a statement saying Pittenger’s remarks were inexcusable and racist.

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