May 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden issues late-night statement as American cities engulfed by violence

Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden responded to the string of violent protests consuming the U.S. following the police killing of George Floyd, calling for protesters to stop the violence.

What he's saying: "Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not."

  • "Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not. The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest. It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance."
  • "As President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen. I will keep the commitment I made to George’s brother, Philonise, that George will not just be a hashtag. We must and will get to a place where everyone, regardless of race, believes that "to protect and serve" means to protect and serve them."

Biden previously compared Floyd's death to Eric Garner's, a black man who died during an arrest after an officer used an illegal chokehold.

  • "Watching his life be taken in the same manner, echoing nearly the same words as Eric Garner more than five years ago — “I can’t breathe” — is a tragic reminder that this was not an isolated incident, but part of an ingrained systemic cycle that exists in this country," Biden said.
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