Nakiya Aldridge Shooting: Donald Trump Under Fire After Using Death Of Dwyane Wade Cousin To Brag About His Popularity With African-American Voters

Donald Trump is in hot water after using the shooting death of Nakiya Aldridge, the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, to brag about his standing with African-American voters.

Aldridge was gunned down on Friday near an elementary school in Chicago, caught in the crossfire of a shootout in the city’s Parkway Gardens neighborhood. Aldridge was on her way to enroll her children at the Dulles School of Excellence and was pushing a stroller when she was fatally shot in the head, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Aldridge had four children, with the youngest just a few weeks old. After the shooting, she was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead, and her children were reportedly unhurt.

Just one day before the death of Nakiya Aldridge, both Dwyane Wade and his mother participated in an ESPN panel discussing gun violence in Chicago.

“Just sat up on a panel yesterday, The Undefeated, talking about the violence that’s going on within our city of Chicago, never knowing that the next day we would be the ones that would be actually living and experiencing it,” said Jolinda Wade.

But the tragedy over Nakiya Aldridge’s shooting turned to controversy early Saturday morning when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared to use her death as a way to brag about his standing with black voters.

In a message on Twitter, Trump used Aldridge’s death to predict that African-Americans will support him.

“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!”

The tweet led to outrage among many followers, with accusations that Trump was callously using the death of Nakiya Aldridge in an attempt to score political points. Many noted that Trump failed to spell the NBA star’s name correctly in his haste to politicize the innocent woman’s death, NBC News noted.

“You can’t pretend to care enough to check the spelling of his name before exploiting his cousin’s horrific death?” one Twitter user asked.

Vox noted that his tweet comes amid allegations that Trump’s campaign has been using racist undertones to appeal to white voters.

“This particular tweet, however, though arguably aimed at softening Trump’s image on race isn’t going to too much of anything to debunk the notion that he simply lacks a certain level of human empathy that we expect from a president. An innocent woman is dead. Children have lost their mother. A family is grieving. And Trump is making a boast about his electoral performance. From any other candidate it would be considered shocking, but as E.J. Dionne has written ‘staying shocked’ is a challenge as we watch the Trump campaign unfold.”

This is not the first time that Donald Trump has been under fire for appearing to politicize a tragedy. Back in June, he was widely criticized for a response to the Orlando nightclub shooting that appeared to gloat about correctly predicting an attack.

“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” he tweeted at the time.

That incident prompted a major downturn in the polls for Donald Trump, even as many predicted that a major attack in the United States could rally voters to his side.

But Donald Trump seemed unfazed at the controversy over his remarks about Nakiya Aldridge. The Republican candidate continued to tweet an attack on Hillary Clinton on Saturday morning, including re-tweeting someone who claimed that Hillary Clinton had a close relationship with Robert Byrd, a longtime Senator who was a member of the KKK in his youth before disavowing the organization.

[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

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