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Iran Press TV

Biden slams Trump for his response to protests over racism, police brutality

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 02 June 2020 6:19 PM

US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has blasted President Donald Trump response to protests over racism and police brutality, saying Trump's "narcissism has become more important than the nation that he leads."

The former vice president delivered a speech at Philadelphia's City Hall on Tuesday, discussing the civil unrest across America following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he suffocated.

Floyd's death on May 25 in Minneapolis has reignited protests across the US that have flared repeatedly in recent years over police killings of black Americans.

Biden said "the moment has come" to address the systemic racism and deeply rooted social inequality in the US. He said Americans can't wait until November's presidential election for Washington to resolve the crisis.

"I call on the Congress to act this month," Biden said, urging lawmakers to start "with real police reform" and citing proposed legislation outlawing choke holds.

Biden intensified his criticism of Trump as he seeks to energize his presidential campaign following two months of campaigning from his home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This president today is part of the problem and accelerates it," Biden said, adding that Trump is "consumed with his blinding ego."

Biden's criticism comes a day after police drove back peaceful protesters near the White House so Trump could walk to the nearby St. John's Church and pose briefly with a Bible.

As protests nationwide flared following the police killing of Floyd, St. John's suffered minor damage Sunday night from a fire in the church basement.

The eruptions of violence have not let up despite the arrest on Friday of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, 44. He has since been charged with third-degree murder.

Biden noted that "peaceful protesters" were dispersed from the "doorstep of the people's house, the White House" using tear gas and flash grenades to stage what he called a "photo op" publicity stunt.

"The president held up a Bible," Biden added. "I just wished he opened it once in awhile instead of brandishing it."

Biden is trying to create a stark contrast with Trump, who has embraced the language of confrontation and war, casting himself as the "president of law and order."

"I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country – not use them for political gain," Biden said.

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