Biden says 'no excuse' for Philadelphia looting as he casts ballot in presidential election
Joe Biden has criticised ongoing unrest and looting in Philadelphia after casting his vote in the US presidential election.
The Democratic candidate made the comments on Wednesday at a polling station in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was accompanied by his wife Jill.
He told reporters there was “no excuse whatsoever” for the chaos in Philadelphia, which was sparked earlier this week after a black man was shot dead by police officers.
“There is no excuse whatsoever for the looting and violence, none whatsoever,” Mr Biden said, adding that peaceful protesting was “totally legitimate, totally reasonable”.
Walter Wallace Jr was shot dead by Philadelphia officers on Monday in an incident caught on camera by a bystander, and which has since been shared widely.
Officers are seen firing several times at the 27-year-old in the footage after they yell at him to drop a knife.
According to family lawyer Shaka Johnson, the father-of-nine’s relatives had called for an ambulance rather than the police to get him help with a mental health crisis.
He said the officers had known about the crisis because they had visited the family home three times on the day he was shot.
In response, hundreds of people have taken part in two nights of protests in Philadelphia that have ultimately descended into violence.
On Tuesday evening, several protesters threw rocks, light bulbs and bricks at officers near a police station, while looters were also spotted ransacking shops.
Mr Wallace’s father has since criticised the violence, saying he wanted people to show his family and the city “some kind of respect” as the unrest had been “uncalled for”.
These words were also echoed by Mr Biden as he left the polling station on Wednesday, stressing the protesting was “reasonable,” but that rioting was not.
He said: “I think that the looting is, just as the father said: ‘Do not do this, you’re not helping, you’re hurting, you’re not helping my son.'”
Mr Biden is currently leading in US polls with just under a week to go until election day next Tuesday.
His rival, President Donald Trump, who is battling against increased public disappointment at his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, cast his vote last Saturday in Florida, a battleground state.
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