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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Wednesday that the police officer who shot Jacob Blake should be charged.
“I think we should let the judicial system work its way,” Biden said at a press conference in Wilmington, Del. on Wednesday. “I do think at a minimum they need to be charged.”
Blake, a 29-year-old black man, was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisc. on Sunday in an incident that has sparked outrage against police and ignited riots in the area. Video footage of the incident shows Blake walking away from police officers, who have their guns drawn on him, and starting to get into an SUV with his children ages 3, 5, and 8 inside before police shoot him multiple times in the back. A knife was recovered on the floorboard of Blake’s SUV and police claim they tazered him twice before resorting to lethal force.
A woman who had previously accused Blake of sexual assault had called the police on him to report that he was refusing to leave her residence and had taken her keys. A warrant had been issued for Blake’s arrest after he violated a restraining order taken out by the women he allegedly assaulted. Blake is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down since the shooting.
Biden is scheduled for a Thursday visit to Kenosha, where rioting and unrest have erupted since Blake’s shooting.
Biden also called for the police officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor in her apartment during a failed drug raid to be charged, and said an investigation should be launched into the fatal shooting of a Trump supporter during clashes between demonstrators in Portland over the weekend.
“They should be investigated and it should follow through on what needs to be done,” the former vice president said. “Let the judicial system work. Let’s make sure justice is done.”
Biden added that he believes that the “vast majority” of law enforcement as well as the community “want to straighten things out, not inflame things” and blamed President Trump for “throwing gasoline on the fire.”
“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,” Biden said. “They’re the ones that want to get rid of the bad cops more than anyone else does, because it reflects on them.”