Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sunday called violence at protests in Portland, Oregon, unacceptable and challenged President Trump to stop recklessly encouraging it, after one person was killed during clashes between rival groups.
Demonstrations against racism and police brutality have swept the U.S. since the death of George Floyd in may, a 46-year-old man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.
Protests have roiled downtown Portland every night for nearly three months following George Floyd’s death, and police there said they had made arrests after one person was shot to death on Saturday night.
I condemn the violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Trump to do the same, Joe Biden said in a statement, adding that we must not become a country at war with ourselves.
What does President Donald Trump think will happen when he continues to insist on fanning the flames of hate and division in our society and using the politics of fear to whip up his supporters? He is recklessly encouraging violence, he added.
Republicans deny Trump is seeking to exacerbate violence with incendiary rhetoric, saying he wants to restore law and order, and accusing Democratic mayors and state governors of losing control of cities rocked by demonstrations that have seen outbreaks of violence, arson, and vandalism.
Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump’s campaign, said on Twitter that Biden had sat idly by for months, refusing to condemn violence and chaos from his allies in Democrat-run cities.
Donald Trump has emphasized law and order to motivate his political base and broaden his support. The Republican president trails Biden in national polls ahead of the election 2020.
On Friday, Trump said protesters were anarchists, agitators, rioters and looters.
Joe Biden has defended peaceful protesters, saying justice must be done, but he has repeatedly called for an end to violence. His campaign said he would travel to southwestern Pennsylvania on Monday to speak on the safety challenges Americans face under Donald Trump, including chaos in cities, a pandemic, and an upside-down economy.
President Trump will visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday after new protests erupted there last week following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, another African-American man, multiple times in front of his kids, paralyzing him.