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Joe Biden said at an event in Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday that the police officers in Jacob Blake's shooting and Breonna Taylor's murder "need to be charged," and called for an investigation into the individual who shot and killed a Trump supporter in Portland last weekend.

Driving the news: Biden was asked about these situations after delivering remarks about how to open school safely in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It comes during a week in which he's been out on the trail countering Trump's attacks about violence and unrest in America.

What they're saying: "I think we should let the judicial system work its way," Biden said when asked by a reporter if he agrees with his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, that the officers who shot Blake and Taylor should be charged.

  • Biden then brought up the individual who shot a Trump supporter in Portland, insisting they should be investigated and held to whatever legal consequences are appropriate.
  • "They should be investigated and it should follow through on what needs to be done," he said. "Let the judicial system work. Let's make sure justice is done."

Between the lines: President Trump has not called for charges against the officers in either the Blake or Taylor cases, but condemned the Portland shooting as "disgraceful." On Monday, he defended the 17-year-old supporter of his who shot and killed two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, suggesting that he was acting in self-defense.

The big picture: Biden reiterated his belief that "the vast majority of police officers are good, decent, honorable women and men. They pin on that shield every morning and they have a right to go home that night safely. ... They're the ones that want to get rid of the bad cops more than anyone else does, because it reflects on them."

  • He said that if he were president, he would bring law enforcement and community leaders to the White House "right now" to discuss "how do we get through this."
  • "I believe the vast majority of the community writ large, as well as law enforcement, want to straighten things out, not inflame things," Biden said. "But this president keeps throwing gasoline on the fire."

Go deeper

Dec 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's wild Inauguration Day exit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump is considering a made-for-TV grand finale: a White House departure on Marine One and final Air Force One flight to Florida for a political rally opposite Joe Biden's inauguration, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: The former network star is privately discussing using his waning powers as commander in chief to order up the exit he wants after dissing Biden by refusing to concede the election, welcome him to the White House or commit to attending his inauguration.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 7 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

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