The Biden campaign said that the former vice president will ‘hold a community meeting in Kenosha to bring together Americans to heal and address the challenges we face.’ Afterward, both Joe and Jill Biden will make a ‘local stop.’
Biden had hinted on Monday after delivering a speech in Pittsburgh that he was considering going to the Wisconsin city, where the police shooting of Jacob Blake a week and a half ago has led to protests, riots and unrest.
Joe Biden will visit Kenosha, Wisconsin on Thursday for a ‘community meeting.’ During his trip to Pittsburgh on Monday he hinted a trip to Wisconsin was in the works
President Trump visited Kenosha on Tuesday where he surveyed riot damage and held a roundtable with law enforcement and local officials
Trump visited the city Tuesday.
He didn’t meet with Blake’s family nor utter the black man’s name.
Instead he toured property damage and held a roundtable discussion with law enforcement and local officials.
There, he called rioters ‘domestic terrorists’ and suggested that white police officers who shoot or kill unarmed black people ‘choked’ or are ‘bad apples,’ refusing to believe there’s a systemic problem between law enforcement and America’s black community.
‘The vast and overwhelming majority of police officers are honorable, courageous and devoted public servants,’ Trump said.
‘They’re incredible, yet many politicians ignore their sacrifice and ignore the African-American, Hispanic-American victims,’ the president continued, speaking of crime victims of color, not those who have been unarmed and shot by officers, which have inspired weeks of Black Lives Matter protests.
When asked specifically about Blake being shot Trump responded, ‘I feel terrible for anybody who goes through that.’ He added that it’s a ‘complicated subject.’
Vouching for police officers Trump explained, ‘you have people who choke.’
‘And if they make a wrong decision one way or the other, they’re either dead or they’re in big trouble,’ Trump continued. ‘And people have to understand that. They choke sometimes. And it’s a very tough situation.’
The president suggested that the police involved in the shootings and killings of unarmed black people amounted to some ‘bad apples.’
Trump pooh-poohed a reporter’s question about whether he believed systemic racism existed, which has been the main theme of the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘You just keep getting back to the opposite subject,’ Trump said. ‘We should talk about the kind of violence we’ve seen in Portland and here and other places, it’s tremendous violence.’
‘This is what this is all about,’ Trump said.
He laughed off the idea that most of the Black Lives Matter protests have been peaceable, pointing to the rubble he had just observed.
‘I keep hearing about peaceful protests … and then I come to an area like this and the town is burned down,’ Trump said, sassing at reporters in the room for covering the protests like that. ‘By and large this is not peaceful protesting,’ he later added.
State and local officials had asked Trump not to come to Kenosha, in case his appearance sparked more confrontations – but Wisconsin is a key swing state in the November presidential election.