A woman who attended Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign event in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Thursday, Sept. 3, said she was told to stick to what was written on a piece of paper.
“My name in Portia Bennett,” the woman said. “I’m just going to be honest, Mr. Biden, I was told to go off this paper, but I can’t. You need the truth and I’m part of the truth.”
“I was born here, raised here, first eighth-grade class at the school that was named after his mother [pointing to someone off screen],” she continued. “So, I have to give you the truth of the people. And the truth of the matter is, we are heavily angry. Not angry as to where people say, ‘Oh, they’re protesting,’ there’s a difference between a protester and a rioter. A very big difference.”
Attendee at Biden’s Kenosha town hall event, Portia Bennett: “I’m going to be honest. I was told to go off this paper but I just can’t. You need the truth.” pic.twitter.com/9zxl7zaMUd
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 3, 2020
The woman went on to tell Biden that the Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake during an arrest on Aug. 23 should be imprisoned. She also said that Blake’s shooting did not spark the clash in Kenosha, according to Free Beacon.
It was unclear what Biden’s response was to the woman but a day prior to his visit to Kenosha Biden told reporters at a news conference in Delaware that the officers who shot Blake should be charged.
“I think we should let the judicial system work its way,” Biden said. “I do think at a minimum they need to be charged.”
A Biden official later explained that Biden believes charges “appear” warranted but that a full investigation should take place first, reported The Hill.
“He believes that, based on everything he has seen, charges appear warranted, but that there should be a full investigation to ensure all the facts are known first,” the official said. “It is essential that officers in situations like this are held accountable, under due process.”
Biden’s comments drew criticism from former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer who said that the former vice president “contradicted himself” while discussing the shootings.
“Today, he [Biden] said, ‘Let the judicial system take its course, we need to listen to the judicial system.’ And then he came out and said ‘Yes, the officer that shot Jacob Blake should be charged.’ So, he contradicted that, and then contrast it to what he said [about] Portland,” Fleischer said.
“He again reiterated, ‘Let the judicial system have its say, investigate.’ He did not say that the person who shot Aaron Danielson—the name of the Trump supporter who got shot and killed—he did not say that that shooter should be charged. So, Biden’s trying to have it both ways just like he is on fracking,” he added.