Joe Biden says he spoke with George Floyd’s family

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday he spoke with the family of George Floyd, the black man who died this week at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis.

“We are a country with an open wound. And none of us can turn away. None of us can be silent. None of us can any longer, can we hear the words ‘I can’t breath’ and do nothing,” Biden said, speaking from his home in Delaware.

“The original sin of this country still stains our nation today, and sometimes we manage to overlook it,” Biden said.

After Floyd’s death, a video surfaced showing the 46-year-old handcuffed and on the ground saying, “I can’t breathe,” as a white police officer holds him down with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s death¬†were fired. On Friday, Derek Chauvin, the officer who held Floyd down, was taken into custody, according to John Harrington, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, said Friday at a news conference that he expects “swift” justice for the officers involved.

Protests have raged in Minneapolis for days, with public demonstrations taking place across the country. More than 500 Minnesota National Guard personnel were mobilized to several locations in the Minneapolis area as protesters have looted businesses and late Thursday night set a police precinct on fire.

Biden’s remarks stand in stark contrast to those of President Donald Trump, who has stoked tensions over the protests and threatened violent police retaliation and military intervention.

Trump called the protesters “THUGS” in a tweet early Friday morning and wrote, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump’s tweet was flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence” and was affixed a warning label, marking the first time such action has been taken against Trump’s Twitter account.

Biden said in his address, “This is no time for incendiary tweets. It’s no time to encourage violence. This is a national crisis, and we need real leadership right now.”

This story is breaking and will be updated.