Biden speaks out against the police officers who shot Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor. Trump hasn’t mentioned a word regarding charging the officers. We must keep this story in the news until justice is served. Continue to protest peacefully and not give up on our judicial system.
Blake, 29, was shot seven times the back and paralyzed Aug. 23 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while he was trying to get into an SUV that held his three young children. Taylor, 26, was shot and killed March 13 in Louisville, Kentucky, after police forcibly entered her apartment.
Biden joined his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, a former California attorney general, in calling for charges against Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey and against Louisville police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove and former Detective Brett Hankison.
“I think we should let the judicial system work its way,” Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, following a speech about his plan to reopen schools during the coronavirus pandemic. “I do think there’s a minimum need to be charged – the officers – and as well as Breonna Taylor.”
Biden condemned all violence and said all incidents of violence should be investigated. “These should be investigated and it should follow through on what needs to be done,” Biden said. “Let the judicial system work. Let’s make sure justice is done.”
Biden discussed his stance a day after President Donald Trump’s visit Tuesday to Kenosha where he expressed support for law enforcement while adding that officers sometimes make mistakes.
Trump in a roundtable with law enforcement officials, including Sheskey’s boss, suggested police are often unfairly criticized because sometimes officers “choke,” or experience a lapse in judgment. While visiting businesses damaged from rioting, Trump praised the National Guard and claimed credit for restoring calm to the city but never mentioned charging the officers.
“Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon seven times. Officer Sheskey fired the weapon into Mr. Blake’s back,” the DOJ said in a recent release of information about the investigation. Police found a knife on the floorboard of Blake’s vehicle, but DOJ investigators have not said whether Sheskey knew about the knife before shooting. Experts on police use of force say Sheskey grabbing Blake’s shirt before shooting him seven times was going from “0 to 60.”
Kirk Burkhalter, a retired New York Police Department detective and New York Law School professor, said it was alarming to see Sheskey first grab Blake’s shirt, and then immediately start shooting, a quick escalation in tactics, skipping over other means of subduing Blake.
Cell phone video of the shooting ignited a firestorm of protests in Kenosha in the following days. Two days after the shooting, a 17-year-old boy brought an assault-style rifle to a protest and killed two people.