Biden, Harris Stoke Racial Tension Amid Riots: ‘Never Stop Speaking Breonna’s Name’

Louisville, Kentucky, exploded in violence overnight after a grand jury indicted a former police officer in the death of Breonna Taylor.

As the riots raged, the Democratic presidential candidate and his running mate took to social media to stoke the flames of racial discord.

“Tonight, I’m thinking of Breonna Taylor’s family who is still grieving the loss of a daughter and sister. We must never stop speaking Breonna’s name as we work to reform our justice system, including overhauling no-knock warrants,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) wrote on Twitter.

Using essentially the same talking point, Biden also chimed in on Twitter.

“We must continue to speak Breonna Taylor’s name, support her family still in grieving, and never give up on ensuring the full promise of America for every American,” Biden wrote in a tweet, which contained a link to his statement on the ruling in Taylor’s death.

In his statement, Biden said there’s no need to wait for a federal investigation to conclude.

“I know for so many people today’s decision does not answer that call. A federal investigation remains ongoing, but we do not need to wait for the final judgment of that investigation to do more to deliver justice for Breonna. We know what is necessary,” he said.

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted a former Louisville, Kentucky, police officer on three counts of “wanton endangerment in the first degree” in the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed during a no-knock raid on her home in March.

Sgt. Brett Hankison escaped more serious felony charges related to homicide from the grand jury. Wanton endangerment in the first degree is a Class D felony that carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison. His bail was set at $15,000.

No other police officers involved in the raid were criminally charged. Ofc. Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly were on the scene during the shooting, and Mattingly was shot in the leg and underwent surgery after the police operation.

Ben Crump, attorney for the family of Breonna Taylor, said on Twitter that the charge was “not fully what we wanted” but added “this brings us closer to justice” for Taylor.

Louisville took extraordinary steps in advance of the grand jury’s announcement, closing downtown streets and putting the city under a state of emergency. Most city administrative buildings and other businesses were boarded up in anticipation of the decision. There have been protests in Louisville for more than 100 consecutive days over Taylor’s death. Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder on Wednesday announced a 72-hour countywide curfew starting at 9 p.m. and the Kentucky National Guard has been activated, Schroeder said.

But that didn’t work.

Hours after the grand jury indictment, two police officers were shot and wounded Wednesday night during the demonstrations. Schroeder said a suspect is in custody and that both officers are expected to recover.

Related: Louisville Police Officer Indicted In Breonna Taylor’s Case

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