Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Tuesday that law enforcement should protect “peaceful protesters,” while “arsonists and anarchists” should face legal prosecution.
Biden detailed his “Build Back Better” plan to address racial economic fairness while speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, saying his economic agenda would tackle systemic racism, CSPAN reported.
“I’ve said from the outset of the recent protests that there’s no place for violence or destruction of property,” Biden said. “Peaceful protesters should be protected and arsonists and anarchists should be prosecuted, and local law enforcement can do that.”
Biden criticized President Donald Trump, claiming Trump is unable to protect Americans from the coronavirus, that he’s unable to fix the economy to get Americans back to work, and that Trump is “intentionally stoking the flames of division and racism” in America.
“He’s determined to stoke division and chaos, it’s not good for the country, but Donald Trump doesn’t care,” Biden said. “His campaign is failing and he is looking for a political lifeline. This isn’t about law and order, it’s about a political strategy to revive a failing campaign.”
Biden said Trump failed “the basic threshold of being president” by not tending to “the entire country,” and that “every instinct Trump has is to add fuel to the fire,” which is the “last thing we need,” according to Biden.
“When President Obama and I were in office we protected federal property,” Biden said. “We were able to do it without the Department of Homeland Security turning into a private militia, and it could be done today but that wouldn’t help Trump’s political interests.”
Recent protests in Portland, Oregon, have been declared unlawful assemblies after turning violent. Over the weekend, thousands of protesters assembled outside the Federal Courthouse where protests started out peaceful and developed into struggles with federal agents.
“We need leadership that will calm the waters and lower the temperature,” Biden said. “That’s how we’ll restore peace in the streets.”
Nationwide protests followed the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during his arrest, video shows.
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