In a moment that will surely have an impact on his ongoing presidential campaign, Joe Biden appeared to blame the police — not rioters — for the violent unrest that has taken over American cities.
Speaking in Philadelphia on Tuesday on the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, the White House aspirant suggested that cops were “escalat[ing] tension,” Breitbart reported.
Biden inflames tensions
For days, rioting, looting, and arson have spread across America after Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by Minneapolis police.
After weeks of sheltering at home, Biden has been out and about, meeting with black leaders, condemning Trump’s response to the unrest, and positioning himself as an empathetic voice — a “healer” — in contrast with the president, whose rhetoric has focused on maintaining law and order.
In his speech Tuesday, Biden thumped against a supposed epidemic of racism in law enforcement while denouncing the violence unfolding in many cities, which he seemed to blame on police, rather than the rioters themselves.
“There’s no place for violence, no place for looting or destroying property or burning churches or destroying businesses, many of them built by the very people of color who [for] the first time in their lives are beginning to realize their dreams and build wealth for their families,” the former vice president said, according to Breitbart. “Nor is it acceptable for our police, sworn to protect and serve all people, to escalate tension [or] resort to excessive violence.”
The Trump campaign responded by accusing Biden of “stand[ing] with the rioters,” Breitbart noted.
Campaign seeks reboot
President Trump has also said that police need to “do better,” as Fox News notes, but the broader strokes of his rhetoric have focused on “dominating” the so-called “thugs” who have taken over America’s streets.
Democrats have denounced Trump’s response as authoritarian, racist, and divisive, with the president’s threat of using military force and claims that he used tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters outside the White House serving as favorite talking points.
As the New York Post reports, Biden has forcefully condemned Trump’s so-called “photo-op” Monday at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House.
“When peaceful protesters are dispersed by the order of the president from the doorstep of the people’s house, the White House — using tear gas and flash grenades — in order to stage a photo op at a noble church, we can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle,” Biden said Tuesday, according to the Post.
Biden’s rhetoric came as a black police officer was shot dead in cold blood by looters in St. Louis, Missouri, as NBC News reported. No word yet from Biden on that one.