Joe Biden Suggests Police Should Shoot Criminals ‘In The Leg’ Instead Of Shooting ‘To Kill’

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden suggested that police officers should shoot dangerous criminals “in the leg” in an effort to deescalate situations.

Biden spoke on ABC News Thursday during a town hall hosted in lieu of a second presidential debate. The former vice president was speaking about making changes to policing amid a year that has seen protests across America focused on police brutality. (RELATED: These Are The Police Officers Shot During The Riots)

“We can do this,” Biden said. “We can ban chokeholds … Beyond that, you have to teach people how to deescalate circumstances. Deescalate. So, instead of anybody coming at you and the first thing you do is shoot to kill, you shoot ’em in the leg! There’s ways…”


Biden has suggested police officers aim for the leg in the past as well. In June, Biden suggested officers should be trained to shoot people “in the leg instead of in the heart.” He gave an example of a man wielding a knife, although he described that as “unarmed.”

“Instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there’s an unarmed person coming at them with a knife or something, shoot them in the leg instead of in the heart,” Biden said during an event in Delaware according to the NY Post.

The former vice president touched upon the 1994 crime bill he helped pass during the town hall, saying he does still agree that “more cops mean less crime.” This time, though, Biden said he believes the statement is only true if “they’re involved in community policing not jump squads.”

The Democratic presidential nominee also said he would be forming a “national study group made up of cops, social workers, as well as made up of the black community and the brown community” if he becomes president. This study group would help develop reforms that everyone can agree upon, Biden said according to USA Today.