Senator Fetterman Faces Backlash Over Juneteenth Post

John Fetterman | Source:

Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman found himself at the center of a Twitter storm recently, as users brought up a controversial incident from his past in response to his Juneteenth post. Fetterman, a Democrat, had posted a message acknowledging the systemic racism in America, which was met with criticism due to a 2013 event where he, as the mayor of Braddock, pursued an unarmed black jogger with a shotgun.

Fetterman had claimed that he heard assault rifle gunshots and detained the individual running from the scene until the police arrived. However, his Juneteenth post, which read, “Happy Juneteenth! Today we celebrate emancipation + reflect on the long shadow of systemic racism in America,” was met with backlash.

Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross tweeted, “Fetterman once pulled a shotgun on an unarmed black jogger.” Townhall Managing Editor Spencer Brown quoted a New York Times article, saying, “Fetterman chased down an innocent unarmed black man.” Tim Murtaugh, former Trump communications director, asked Fetterman to recount the incident, and Steve Guest, former special advisor for communications for Senator Ted Cruz, shared a screenshot from a Philadelphia Inquirer article about the incident.

Fetterman defended his actions during his primary campaign, stating, “I attacked the gun violence problem in Braddock, and we succeeded.” He described his actions as a “split-second decision.” However, former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter criticized Fetterman’s response, urging him to “fess up, apologize.”

Fetterman admitted in a previous TV interview that he might have broken the law but insisted he did not know the jogger was black due to the winter attire the jogger was wearing. A police report later determined that the sound Fetterman thought was gunfire was actually fireworks.