Joe Biden denounced violence that occurred in some protests in response to the police shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. in Philadelphia. Biden promised to study ways to prevent such shootings if elected president.
Speaking to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware after voting on Wednesday, Biden said that “there is no excuse whatsoever for the looting and the violence” that’s broken out in Philadelphia in response to the shooting, but he said protesting overall is “totally legitimate.”
Wallace, 27, a Black man, was fatally shot by police Monday after authorities say he ignored orders to drop a knife. But, his family’s lawyer said the family had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis. The shooting set off two days of protests, and some demonstrators threw debris at officers, injuring two, police said.
Biden said he’ll be setting up a commission if elected president to study “how you diminish the prospect of lethal shootings in circumstances like the one we saw.” Biden’s criminal justice plan would increase oversight of police departments and offer funds to support police reforms at the local level.
Biden offered the comments after voting early at a government building in downtown Wilmington. Delaware allows residents to vote early by appointment, and he and wife Jill voted together.