Protesting violence is ‘right and necessary’, destruction is not, says Biden

Democratic candidate Joe Biden will face President Donald Trump in the Nov 3 presidential election. (AP pic)

NEW YORK: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sunday called for protesters against police brutality not to turn to violence as unrest flared in US cities overnight.

Biden issued a statement just after midnight as protesters in several major US cities vented outrage at the death of a black man shown on video gasping for breath as a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck.

“Protesting such brutality is right and necessary,” Biden said in the emailed statement. “But burning down communities and needless destruction is not.”

He added: “We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us.”

Biden will face President Donald Trump in the Nov 3 presidential election. Trump’s re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, on Saturday said that Biden should deliver a more forceful condemnation of violence.

Biden’s remarks echoed a statement on Saturday by prominent black civil rights activist and US Representative John Lewis of Georgia.

Lewis, who in 1965 was beaten unconscious by Alabama state troopers during a march for voting rights, called for protesters to “be constructive, not destructive”, though he said he knows their pain.