October 7, 2020 - Pence Decries “Rioters and Looters” in Racial Justice Response

Both Harris and Pence are asked in the vice presidential debate if, “In the case of Breonna Taylor, was justice done?” Taylor – a Black woman – was killed by Louisville police in her own home. Harris responds, “I don’t believe so, and I’ve talked with Breonna’s mother, Tamika Palmer, and her family, and her family deserves justice,” adding, “We need reform of our policing in America and our criminal justice system. She mentions the murder of George Floyd as another example of the need for reform. Asked the same question, Pence responds, “Well our heart breaks for the loss of any innocent American life, and the family of Breonna Taylor has our sympathies. But I trust our justice system, a grand jury that reviews the evidence.” He goes on to welcome his guest at the debate, a Black woman business owner whose salon was burned during the racial justice protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pence says: “There’s no excuse for what happened to George Floyd. Justice will be served. But there’s also no excuse for the rioting and looting that followed. He rejects the claim that “America is systemically racist” and says that claims “that law enforcement has an implicit bias against minorities” is “a great insult to the men and women who serve in law enforcement.” The Trump-Pence campaign’s decision to profile a Black woman hurt by racial justice protests was likely strategic, challenging expectations that the racial reckoning would ultimately benefit Black communities, and Black women specifically – who overwhelmingly back Biden and Harris.