Biden urged to pick black VP, not Klobuchar as Minneapolis killing stokes racial tensions [DailyTimes] 31 May, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing fresh calls to choose a black woman as his running mate amid rising racial tensions after this week’s videotaped death of an unarmed black man as a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.Several said choosing Senator Amy Klobuchar, a former White House rival also being vetted by Biden’s team, would have the opposite effect.Klobuchar, a white moderate like Biden, previously served as the top prosecutor for the Minnesota county that includes Minneapolis, where Floyd died on Monday after a white officer knelt on his neck for several minutes as Floyd, who was also handcuffed, gasped that he could not breathe. Some black advocates said on Friday that Klobuchar’s record on police misconduct was disqualifying.“Amy Klobuchar is an absolute no-go,” said Keith Williams, chairman of the Democratic Party Black Caucus in Michigan, a battleground state Biden hopes to win back after Trump’s 2016 victory there. “A black woman would give him an instant boost.”Representative James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, told reporters that while he respected the senator and thought she was qualified, “This is very tough timing for Amy Klobuchar.”The powerful progressive group MoveOn called on Klobuchar to drop out of the running in a tweet on Friday, citing her record on police misconduct as a prosecutor.Klobuchar on Friday declined to withdraw from consideration, saying she trusted Biden to make the right decision.The officer charged on Friday with killing Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was involved in a fatal shooting in 2006, when Klobuchar was county attorney.The senator said on MSNBC that reports she declined to prosecute him were “a lie” because the decision was left to her successor after her election to the Senate. She also defended her record, saying African-American incarceration rates dropped during her tenure.The county attorney’s office confirmed in a statement that Klobuchar had no role in the 2006 case.Biden, who served eight years as vice president for Barack Obama, the country’s first black president, saw his faltering campaign resuscitated in February in South Carolina, where he drew wide support from black voters after Clyburn’s endorsement.Biden faced a barrage of criticism last week for saying on a black radio show that anyone who can’t choose between him and Trump “ain’t black.” Biden quickly apologized.

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