Campaign staff for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden donated to a group that pays bail fees even as police struggle to stop the escalating violence in Minneapolis and other U.S. cities in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
At least 13 Biden campaign staff members have made donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which is raising money to bail out protesters flooding the streets over the death of Floyd, a black man who died Monday, May 25, while in police custody, according to the Reuters.
Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Reuters that Biden opposes the institution of cash bail as a “modern day debtors prison,” but did not make it clear on whether the donations were coordinated within the campaign.
The former vice president on Saturday night released a statement addressing the death of Floyd and the protests that have broken out across the country over the last several days, saying they “have laid bare that we are a nation furious at injustice.” However, Biden appeared to fail to form clear condemnation of the violence.
“Every person of conscience can understand the rawness of the trauma people of color experience in this country, from the daily indignities to the extreme violence, like the horrific killing of George Floyd,” Biden said in a statement.
“Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response,” he said. “But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not.”
NEW from @JoeBiden: “We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us.” pic.twitter.com/79Brk51Ws4
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) May 31, 2020
“The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest. It should not drive people away form the just cause that protest is meant to advance,” he added.
On Saturday, the United States went into its fifth night of national unrest as demonstrations protested Flyod’s death. Some demonstrations escalated into violence with protesters and rioters clashing with law enforcement, burning a police car, looting stores, and vandalizing businesses and others buildings.
Attorney General Bill Barr has said, “The voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent radical elements,” adding that law enforcement agencies stand ready to help the locals to “halt this violence.”
As of Saturday night, governors in nearly a dozen states plus the District of Columbia activated the National Guard in response to the protests.