‘Looting Is Not A Protest, It Is A Crime’: Joe Biden Issues Statement On Philadelphia Police Shooting

(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris, condemned looting and violence in Philadelphia after police shot and killed a man allegedly armed with a knife, according to a statement on the campaign’s website. 

Riots erupted Monday after Walter Wallace Jr., 27, was killed by police after officers responded to a report of a man with a weapon. Numerous businesses were looted, and police said 30 officers were injured during the riots from being struck with rocks and projectiles. The Biden-Harris campaign rebuked the violence against police and the vandalism of small businesses in the statement. (RELATED: More Than 30 Arrested After Riots Erupt In Philadelphia Following Alleged Police Shooting Of Man With Knife)

“Walter Wallace’s life, like too many others’, was a Black life that mattered — to his mother, to his family, to his community, to all of us,” the statement said. 

“At the same time, no amount of anger at the very real injustices in our society excuses violence. Attacking police officers and vandalizing small businesses, which are already struggling during a pandemic, does not bend the moral arc of the universe closer to justice. It hurts our fellow citizens. Looting is not a protest, it is a crime.”

The campaign also targeted President Donald Trump in the statement by accusing him of fanning “the flames of division in our society” and being “incapable of doing the real work to bring people together.”

The statement points to its police reform goals, which include “implementing a national use of force standard” and maintaining “peace and security in our communities.”

The protests and riots in Philadelphia come after nationwide demonstrations prompted by the death of George Floyd in May, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. While many protests remained peaceful, numerous cities also saw violent rioting, looting, vandalism and arson.

Media and Democrats have blamed President Donald Trump for country-wide riots that began following Floyd’s death, and have pushed the Biden campaign to condemn the rioting. CNN’s Don Lemon called for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to stop ignoring the rioting in August, adding that Biden should suggest the incidents are due to Trump.

Biden has previously blamed Trump for “fanning the flames of hate and division” following violence in Portland. A Biden advertisement also blamed Trump for rioting, while also establishing his campaign’s position on the rioting and looting.

“Rioting is not protesting,” Biden said during the advertisement as images of unrest flashed on the screen. “Looting is not protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted. Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames. He can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it.”