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Biden Visits George Floyd Protest Site, Urges Americans To Turn 'Anguish Into Purpose'

HuffPost logo HuffPost 6/1/2020 Dominique Mosbergen

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is seen at War Memorial Plaza during Memorial Day, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Castle, Delaware, U.S. May 25, 2020. © REUTERS/Carlos Barria Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is seen at War Memorial Plaza during Memorial Day, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Castle, Delaware, U.S. May 25, 2020. Former Vice President Joe Biden left his home on Sunday afternoon to visit Wilmington, Delaware, where protests erupted the night before to demand justice for the death of George Floyd.

In photographs and videos posted to his Instagram account, a masked Biden was seen talking and taking photos with people, who were also masked, at the site. 

We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us,” Biden, who has made public appearances only twice in the past two months amid the coronavirus pandemic, wrote in a photo caption:

Several cities saw peaceful protests turn violent on Saturday night. In Wilmington, some demonstrators began looting businesses as night fell. Surveying the damage the next morning, Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) blamed a small band of bad actors for the destruction while lauding Wilmingtonians who had focused “on the good,” the Delaware News Journal reported.

Hours later, hundreds of protesters took to the city’s streets again, chanting Floyd’s name and calling for the end of police violence. Floyd died last Monday after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

“I cannot breathe,” Floyd told the officer. “Please man, I can’t breathe.”  

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki (D) declared a state of emergency on Sunday evening and imposed a curfew from 9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Monday.   

Biden was among several prominent politicians who have urged protesters to continue to voice their anger and frustration without resorting to violence. In a statement released on Sunday, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said protesting the brutality that Floyd and others have endured “is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response.”

“But burning down communities and needless destruction is not,” Biden stated

“The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest. It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance,” he added. 

In response to the demonstrations, President Donald Trump reportedly rebuffed advice from campaign advisers to deliver a nationally televised address on Sunday and remained out of sight. However, he continued tweeting, mocking Biden and blaming “anarchists,” “antifa” and the “Lamestream Media” for the violence on America’s streets:

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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