During Wednesday night’s (October 7) vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City, Utah, both Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence were asked to provide their opinion on the justice, or lack thereof, about Breonna Taylor’s tragic death and the case against the officers who killed her.
And while Harris predictably showed empathy in saying that justice wasn’t served in the case, the vice president not only denied that the officers were responsible for the 26-year-old’s passing, he went all the way to suggest systemic racism and implicit racial bias amongst law enforcement isn’t a real thing.
"Well, our heart breaks for the loss of any innocent American life, and the family of Breonna Taylor has our sympathies," Pence said in beginning his answer. "But I trust our justice system, a grand jury that refused the evidence."
He then implied that it’s a “great insult” to officers to infer that there’s racial bias against African Americans in police stations across America.
“This presumption that you hear consistently from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that America is systemically racist, that, as Joe Biden said, law enforcement has an implicit bias against minorities, that is a great insult to the men and women who serve in law enforcement,” Pence said.
Harris, during the discussion, brought up Donald Trump’s history of racially-charged comments, including his support of neo-nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia calling them “fine people” after an incident where a protester was killed using a vehicle, his calling Mexicans “rapists” and his most recent support for the Proud Boys, an organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“We are talking about an election in 27 days when last week the president of the United States took the debate stage in front of 70 million Americans and refused to condemn white supremacists, and it wasn’t like he didn’t have a chance,” said Harris. “He didn’t do it, and then he doubled down, and then he said when pressed: ‘Stand back, stand by.’”
Social media was outraged over Pence’s comments, see what folks had to say below.
Pence’s response to the question “did Breonna Taylor receive justice” was disgusting #VicePresidentialDebate— HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) October 8, 2020
As soon as Pence started denying the existence of systemic racism, the fly got him! #VPDebate— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) October 8, 2020
Mike Pence : systemic racism ???? Don’t think that’s real— thee glodan (@hodayum) October 8, 2020
Also Mile Pence: Kamala ur policies disproportionately punished Black men.
Did Pence just tell a BLACK WOMAN that systemic racism doesn't exist in America?!— Heather Antos (@HeatherAntos) October 8, 2020
OK GUYS SO TRUMP WOULDN’T DENOUNCE WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND NOW PENCE IS SAYING THERE ISN’T SYSTEMIC RACISM— Amy Harris (@amywi323) October 8, 2020
if you’re voting for them, unfollow me.
Not Pence straight out denying the existence systemic racism and calling it “insulting” pic.twitter.com/PrJbqdDSCu— Sayidana (@sbd_xx) October 8, 2020
Photo: ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images