Biden Calls for Charges Against Officers in Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake Shootings

Former vice president to visit Kenosha on Thursday
September 2, 2020 Updated: September 2, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that officers involved in the shootings of Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor should be charged, while also calling for an investigation into a person who shot and killed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Portland last weekend.

“They should be investigated and it should follow through on what needs to be done,” he said a news conference in Delaware on Wednesday. “Let the judicial system work. Let’s make sure justice is done.”

The former vice president will visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Thursday. Blake, who had a warrant out for his arrest for sexual assault and allegedly had a knife, was shot several times by Kenosha police officers who were responding to a woman who previously accused him of assault, leading to several nights of unrest, arson, looting, and violence.

Taylor, meanwhile, was shot and killed in March in Kentucky after police officers entered with a no-knock warrant while she was asleep. Her boyfriend fired at the officers, believing they were home invaders, before the officers returned fire, killing the woman.

The incidents have sparked Black Lives Matter protests, and, along with George Floyd’s death, triggered a wave of violence and civil unrest.

This week, Trump visited Kenosha to observe burned-down businesses.

Trump in Kenosha
President Donald Trump tours an area affected by civil unrest in Kenosha, Wis., on Sept. 1, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

The president has not called for charges against police officers. He said the shooting in Portland was “disgraceful” and also said 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense when he shot two people in Kenosha. Video footage appeared to show Rittenhouse, who was charged with murder by local prosecutors, being attacked by several demonstrators before he opened fire.

Biden also attempted to distance himself from the more extreme left-wing calls to defund or abolish police departments, along with anti-police sentiments.

“The vast majority of police officers are good, decent, honorable women and men,” Biden said Wednesday. “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.”

Trump over the summer has touted that he is the “law and order” candidate, saying that Democratic mayors have embraced far-left ideologies and a Biden presidency will further destabilize the United States if he is elected.

Biden responded Wednesday, accusing Trump of “throwing gasoline on the fire,” without elaborating.