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Donald Trump is taking a break from talking down to black voters.

Kena Betancur / Getty Images

Just yesterday, skipping past some of the worst episodes in American history, he asserted that “our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever.” Today, at a town hall at a Cleveland church, he struck a different tune, following the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte on Tuesday.

Trump acknowledged himself to be a “tremendous defender of law enforcement,” but was surprisingly conciliatory in his description of Terrence Crutcher, who was shot in Tulsa last Friday: “That man went to the car [with] hands up. Put his hands on the car. ... To me, it looked like he did everything you’re supposed to do. And he looked like a really good man. ... This young officer, I don’t know what she was thinking. I’m very troubled by that. Was she scared? Was she choking?” Even his tweets on Wednesday morning were measured and somber.

He also enlisted the services of Don King, the boxing promoter, who shouted numerous times during Trump’s town hall: “Donald J. Trump, president of the United States!” After accidentally dropping the N-word at the podium, he added that Trump “entered the ring to defend America ... and to give the government back to the people.”