Biden condemns 'cold-blooded' police shootings


Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden disavowed two separate officer shootings as the issue of police brutality roils the country and the election.

"Jill and I were devastated to learn of the cold-blooded shooting of two Los Angeles County deputies yesterday, as well as the horrific death of Deputy Ryan Hendrix, a Marine veteran and police officer killed in the line of duty in Henderson County, North Carolina," Biden said in a joint statement with his wife.

The two-term vice president added, "These attacks are absolutely unconscionable — they bring only greater violence, injustice, and grief to a nation in desperate need of healing."

Biden, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee for eight of his 36 years representing Delaware in the chamber, described the targeting of police as "unacceptable" and "outrageous." He called for the perpetrators to "face the full brunt of the law," but his statement also referenced sustained protests regarding racial justice after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

"Just as they owe it to the American people to protect and serve with honor, restraint, and accountability, Americans owe it to them to lessen the needless danger of their inherently dangerous jobs," Biden said.

A gunman "ambushed" two deputies sitting in a parked squad car Saturday night in Compton, California, shooting the 24-year-old man and 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy multiple times in an unprovoked attack. Both deputies are expected to survive, and a $100,000 reward is being offered for information on the assailant.

On the other side of the country, Hendrix, 35, died last week after he was shot in the face during an arrest. He had been providing backup to colleagues responding to a break-in south of Asheville, North Carolina, when the offender wielded his gun. The shooter was killed when police returned fire. Hendrix, a father of two, was set to marry his fiancee next month.

Biden's critics have scrutinized his bifurcated message as he grapples with supporting officers while also wanting to stem the number of deaths in police custody. President Trump has portrayed himself as an uncompromising friend of law enforcement.