Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden seemingly forgot what was made clear by his own administration when he was vice president under Obama: Evidence shows that Michael Brown was killed while assaulting a police officer.
That was the conclusion of a US Department of Justice investigation in 2015, during the Obama-Biden administration, when the feds exonerated former Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in the August 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Brown. As the Washington Post wrote weeks after the DOJ report, the “Hands up, don’t shoot” chant of protesters who demonstrated after Brown’s killing was “built on a lie.” It was based on a false witness who said the teenager was shot by Wilson while submitting to the officer.
The lie led to riots that tore apart Ferguson, and protests spread to other cities. The unrest proved to be a forerunner to this year’s protests and riots across the US in the wake of black Minneapolis man George Floyd’s May 25 death in police custody.
Knowing all that – or at least being in a prime position to know all that, Biden chose to mark the anniversary of Brown’s death by reviving the notion that the teen was killed because of racism, not his own conduct. “It’s been six years since Michael Brown’s life was taken in Ferguson – reigniting a movement,” Biden said Sunday on Twitter. “We must continue the work of tackling systemic racism and reforming policing.”
As radio host and Fox News contributor Buck Sexton pointed out, “Michael Brown was killed because he was engaged in felony assault of a police officer, according to Obama’s own DOJ investigation, and Democrats’ continued pretense that Brown was a martyr is dishonest and disgraceful.”
Other Twitter users pointed out the contradiction, noting “Your justice department said his shooting was justified. You don’t remember that Joe?” Another said, “Biden doesn’t remember what he did six hours ago, let alone six years ago. His DOJ said the shooting was justified.”
Biden is likely looking to bolster his support among black voters after two gaffes last week at an event hosted by black and Latino journalists. “Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things,” Biden said Wednesday. That came on the heels of being asked by a black reporter if he had taken a test of his cognitive abilities. Biden replied, “That’s like saying to you, before you got on this program, if you had taken a test were you taking cocaine or not. What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?”