Since protests erupted across America following the killing of George Floyd, tensions have been at an all-time high.
Presumptive Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden has moved to strike a different tone to Trump. While Trump has fanned the flames of division, Biden has hosted a digital roundtable with mayors from across the US about how to deal with the problem of racist police brutality.
But we already know that the former vice president is prone to his own racial insensitivities and gaffes. Just last week, which feels like a very long time ago, he was criticised for saying that black people who don’t know whether to vote for him over Trump “ain’t black”.
Now Biden’s response to Floyd’s killing has upset people again, after he suggested shooting people “in the leg” instead of the heart as a realistic solution to the problem.
Biden said that Police – if facing a threat from a person with "a knife or something" – should be trained to “shoot ‘em in the leg instead of the heart,” amid five straight days of protests.
In an address to black community leaders in Wilmington, Delaware, he said:
Instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there’s an unarmed person coming at ‘em with a knife or something, shoot ‘em in the leg instead of in the heart
There are a lot of things that can change.
Biden also announced that he would form a “police oversight board” in his first 100 days as president.
On social media, people didn’t think that shooting people in the leg was a realistic or productive solution to the deep-rooted problem of racist police brutality.
"we can shoot them in the leg instead of the heart" is such a good accidental distillation of liberal compromise mi… https://t.co/JBbMLXOoUC— bertolt rekt (@bertolt rekt) 1591033385
Biden’s idea of change (“There are a lot of different things that can change”) is to “shoot em” in the leg instead… https://t.co/jaCcPaeIyo— Emily Ratajkowski (@Emily Ratajkowski) 1591038128
Before entering the 2020 race, Biden apologised for his past stances on criminal justice, which have frequently come under scrutiny for disproportionately affecting black communities.