Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told supporters that much of the protest violence was a “cry for justice,” even as protests were starting up for a second day in Philadelphia.
Biden was speaking to supporters Tuesday at a voter mobilization event in Atlanta when he made the comments.
“A season of protest has broken out all across the nation!” Biden said.
“Protesting though, is not burning and looting. Violence can never be a tactic or tolerated, and it won’t, but much of it is a cry for justice from a community that has long had the knees of injustice on their necks,” he added.
“The names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake will not soon be forgotten, not by me, not by us, not by this country,” Biden continued. “Folks, we’re going to inspire a new wave of justice in America.”
Biden appeared to confuse the case of Jacob Blake, who was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but survived, with the other two cases of lethal police shootings.
In contrast to Biden’s statement, President Donald Trump has been forceful in his opposition to the goals and narratives of the Black Lives Matter movement.
In August, the president blasted “Democrat-run cities” for not opposing violent protests enough and said that greater force should be used against “thugs” in contrast to peaceful “friendly protesters.”
Philadelphia erupts in protest
Biden’s comments might not be welcome among those suffering in the violent rioting in Philadelphia after 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., a black man who was shot and killed by police Monday afternoon when he reportedly charged at them with a knife.
The neighborhood community erupted after startling video of the deadly encounter went viral on social media. The violence quickly escalated out of control in many parts of the city on Monday.
Police cars were set on fire and officers were assaulted as the crowds swelled. Video posted to social media showed police retreating as crowds attacked them. At least 30 people were arrested on the first night of the violence.
Here’s the video of Biden’s comments:
Joe Biden: "Protesting though is not burning and looting. Violence can never be a tactic or tolerated, and it won't, but much of it is a cry for justice from a community that has long had the knees of injustice on their necks." pic.twitter.com/lt1NR1fI0a
— The Hill (@thehill) October 27, 2020