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Tags: john fetterman | mayor | braddock | pennsylvania | shotgun | crime | racism

Sen. Fetterman Faces Juneteenth Post Backlash

By    |   Tuesday, 20 June 2023 09:50 AM EDT

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., is taking heat on social media after posting a tribute to the Juneteenth holiday when users responded by reminding him of a 2013 incident in which he allegedly pulled a shotgun on an unarmed Black jogger.

"Happy Juneteenth," Fetterman posted on Twitter on Monday. "Today we celebrate emancipation + reflect on the long shadow of systemic racism in America. PA always stands by the unshakable truth that Black families matter [plus] Black lives matter."

Former President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh responded to Fetterman's post by noting the 2013 incident in Pennsylvania.

"Senator, why don't you tell that story about that time you chased a black jogger and held a shotgun on him because you thought he was a criminal," Murtaugh's posted reply read.

During Fetterman's 2022 Senate campaign, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a story about the January 2013 incident, reporting that while serving as mayor of Braddock, he heard nearby gunshots and saw someone running from the area.

According to the report, Fetterman took his 4-year-old son into the house, called police, then went after suspect in his truck with a 20-gauge shotgun that he brandished at the unarmed Black man to stop him while police were on the way.

"I believe I did the right thing, but I may have broken the law in the course of doing it, and I'm certainly not above the law," Fetterman told the Inquirer at the time.

Fetterman and the man, identified at the time as Christopher Miyares, dispute how the gun was used during the encounter. Miyares said it was pointed at his chest. Fetterman denied it was ever pointed at the man, the report said.

According to the report, police searched Miyares and found him to be unarmed.

"I made a split-second decision to intervene for the safety and protection of my community, and intercepted the person to stop them from going any further until the first responders could arrive," Fetterman said at the time. "I stayed in my truck and never came in physical contact with the individual. I had my shotgun, but it was never pointed at the individual, and there wasn't even a round chambered."

Fetterman's Democrat primary opponent, Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., brought the issue up during a 2022 debate.

"Today, not only will John not admit that he was pointing the gun at this person. He also won't really answer your question as to whether he did anything wrong," Lamb said at the Harrisburg debate. "And I just think that's disqualifying for any of us who have to work hard to gain the trust of the Black community."

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Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., is taking heat on social media after posting his commemoration of the Juneteenth holiday when users responded by reminding him of a 2013 incident in which he allegedly pulled a shotgun on an unarmed Black jogger.
john fetterman, mayor, braddock, pennsylvania, shotgun, crime, racism, juneteenth
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2023-50-20
Tuesday, 20 June 2023 09:50 AM
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