In his first comments since the acquittal of two Philadelphia police officers in the death of Jerame Reid, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said the verdict had left him “angry and concerned” about the state of race relations in the country.
“The verdict leaves me and a lot of people ‘angry’ and concerned,” Mr. Biden wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. “Too many young African-American men in America are killed by police. Not one action has been taken by this Justice Department to hold these officers responsible.
“So much has changed in this country in the last 50 years, but many of the fundamental injustices experienced by African-Americans are still injustices today,” he continued. “Violence is never the answer. The goal of right is to have a rule of law that serves us all, at all times.”
Mr. Biden tweeted the statement shortly after arriving in Chicago on Saturday, which is the last stop of his four-day bus tour through seven Midwestern states.
The Democratic vice presidential nominee plans to meet with teachers later on Saturday, and is expected to outline ideas for passing criminal justice reform and providing more economic opportunities for the working class.
When news broke on Friday that a grand jury had decided not to indict a pair of Philadelphia police officers in the fatal shooting of Reid, the vice president said in a statement that the officer’s actions “were not in conformity with the law.” He said an “aggressive pursuit” of the wrong suspect could lead to a confrontation that ends in death.
For their part, the officers said they fired at Reid in self-defense during a gun-deal with a narcotic dealer at a hotel, where Reid had gone with his lawyer and an acquaintance.
In his tweet, Mr. Biden said “racist police crimes have gone unresolved for far too long, and our judicial system fails to protect and hold them accountable.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.