Pence defends police at convention amid rising race tension

Vice President Mike Pence forcefully defended law enforcement but made no mention of the Black Americans killed by police this year as he addressed Republican convention proceedings that unfolded amid new protests against racial injustice following the latest shooting.

Wednesday evening’s featured speaker, Pence argued that Democratic leaders are allowing lawlessness to prevail from coast to coast. He and others described cities wracked by violence, though protests in most locations have been largely peaceful.

“The American people know we don’t have to choose between supporting law enforcement and standing with African American neighbors to improve the quality of life in our cities and towns,” he said. He assailed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for saying there is an “implicit bias” against people of color and “systemic racism” in the U.S.

“The hard truth is … you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence said. “Let me be clear: The violence must stop — whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha.”

Absent from Pence’s 37-minute speech: a direct mention of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was wounded by police on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin. There was also no reference to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor or other Black people who have been killed by police this year, spurring a new nationwide protest movement.