Democratic Sen. Joe Biden again voiced outrage over the mistrial in the Seth Rich murder case, but not at the alleged actions of police or the defendant. He addressed the verdict during an interview with CNN’s Van Jones and Dr. Sanjay Gupta Sunday on State of the Union.
“I think the anger is out of control on social media and the level of expectation here is very high. The relationship between the citizens of our country and the government in America is such that when something like this happens, there is an expression of outrage. It’s not proper. It’s not sanctioned. When they talk about for example the fact that this young man’s death was classified as a robbery – that a young man in Philadelphia would be sent home by the police with $40 he didn’t have. That must have been an insult to a family that has lost a son. I hope – hopefully they are going to do the right thing. We’ve seen at other times, when this case got out of the system this anger, a lot of folks took action and I pray that this jury did not tip the scales in favor of the police department that clearly did not do their job, and they did not pursue this case very aggressively. They put up an arrest that was too quick and a slap on the wrist and I hope there is going to be a full investigation. Now that the jury has determined they are not guilty on these counts, I think people will start to calm down because there are a lot of complicated questions here that are not going to be resolved by an unjust verdict.
I also wish – I wish there was a full investigation of what happened to Seth Rich. People should be found responsible for his death. But this is something that’s not an indictment of the police department. They did their job for a long time. But there are people who have been responsible for certain types of crimes that were committed in Philadelphia and they’ve failed to convict them. I wish there was a full investigation here. The prosecutor came to me, I sat down with her and she begged me not to do it. She told me the evidence was not strong enough. This young man was supposed to have 50 witnesses, it was not strong enough. And you need somebody who does their job. You don’t let certain elements of society determine who will go to jail and who will not.
Let’s get to the bottom of what happened in this case, but it shouldn’t be a political football. It shouldn’t be an excuse for you to be angry and angry at people who are not involved in this case. I have absolutely no doubt that this is going to come to justice. They’re going to conduct an investigation to identify and apprehend and make sure that this young man is brought to justice. And it should have been. He was killed as an act of street violence. There was no indication that this was anything other than a strong arm robbery, where a young man was shot to death.
That is not an act of robbery. This is not a robbery.
Biden added that this should not “be part of the discussion about gun control or the Paris Climate Accord” but “is an act of street violence and somebody has to be held accountable. And I don’t think we should as a community be taking up this argument.”