Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday he spoke with the family of George Floyd, the black man who died this week at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis.
What We Know:
- The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said he had spoken with Floyd’s family about Saturday marking five years since his son Beau had died of brain cancer.
- “I was truly impressed with their courage and their grace during this unimaginably painful time,” Biden told CNN’s Don Lemon on “The Situation Room”.
- “I tried to give them some solace in terms of how the memory, the memory and meaning of George’s life, would live with them,” Biden said.
- Earlier, Biden called on Americans to confront racial injustice in the nation and said it was “time for us to take a hard look at the uncomfortable truths”. His remarks came after days of protests in Minneapolis and across the country over Floyd’s death.
- “Weeks like this we see it plainly that we’re a country with an open wound. And none of us can turn away. None of us can be silent. None of us can any longer, can we hear the words ‘I can’t breathe’ and do nothing,” Biden said in a broadcast from his home in Delaware.
- “We need real police reform, to hold cops to a higher standard that so many of them actually meet, that holds bad cops accountable and repairs relationships between law enforcement and the community they’re sworn to protect.”
- Biden told CNN that if he were president, he would call for the Department of Justice to conduct a civil rights investigation.
- “This man had his knee on a man’s neck up against the curb for nine minutes. You know, I don’t know what else, what other conclusion can be reached,” Biden said. He added that the protesters have “a right to be in fact angry and frustrated”.
- In his earlier remarks, Biden spoke to the “constant anxiety and trauma” experienced by black people in America, and said, “Imagine if every time your husband or son, wife or daughter left the house, you feared for their safety from bad actors and bad police.”
- Biden’s remarks stand in contrast to those of President Donald Trump, who has stoked tensions over the protests and threatened violent police retaliation and military intervention.
- Trump called the protesters “THUGS” in a tweet early Friday morning and wrote, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. Trump’s tweet was flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence” and was affixed a warning label, marking the first time such action has been taken against Trump’s Twitter account.
Biden said, “This is no time for incendiary tweets. It’s no time to encourage violence. This is a national crisis. We need real leadership right now. Leadership that will bring everyone to the table so we can take measures to root out systemic racism.”