Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday condemned the police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wis., and also denounced the arson and violence that followed.
“What I saw on that video makes me sick,” Biden said, referring to a viral video showing a white Kenosha police officer shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back at close range as Blake was getting into an SUV. Blake had reportedly just broken up a neighborhood disturbance, and his family now says he is paralyzed from the waist down. Protesters have taken to the streets in anger.
Biden, in a video, said he had recently spoken to Blake’s family, and “I told them justice must and will be done.” He asked listeners to “put yourself in the shoes of every Black father and Black mother in this country and ask, is this what we want America to be?”
Then Biden pivoted from condemning police violence to condemning violence in the community, which has included arsonists burning down a justice building and some community businesses and setting some vehicles on fire.
“Protesting brutality is a right and absolutely necessary, but burning down communities is not protest, it’s needless violence, violence that endangers lives, violence that guts businesses and shutters businesses that serve the community,” Biden said. “That’s wrong.”
Biden called for people to “unite, and heal, do justice, end the violence, and end systemic racism in this country now.”
A 17-year-old who reportedly showed up near protesters to defend against property violence was charged with murder on Wednesday on suspicion of shooting and killing two people and wounding a third during clashes on Tuesday night.
L A Times