Shots fired near Biden’s Delaware home

19 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Biden says minority communities, police need to heal.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden says minority communities around the country need to work to bridge the separation between police and the residents they serve. Law enforcement officials have boosted security at the Delaware home of Vice-President Joe Biden after several gunshots rang out from a vehicle speeding by the property over the weekend. Speaking Monday at a breakfast honoring slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., Biden said communities and police departments need to build relationships of trust. The vice-president and his wife were not at their Wilmington home on Saturday night when the shots were fired and there were no reports of injuries, authorities said on Sunday. Secret Service personnel at the Greenville, Del., residence heard shots at about 8:25 p.m. and saw a vehicle drive past at a high rate of speed, fleeing the scene, said agency spokesman Robert Hoback.

About a half-hour later, at 9 p.m., an individual in a vehicle attempted to pass an officer with the New Castle County police who was securing an outer perimeter. Tensions escalated after two New York City police officers were fatally shot last month by a man who suggested in online posts that he was retaliating for the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. After the shooting, Secret Service agents launched an extensive search of the home’s exterior to determine whether the building had been struck, according to the Secret Service. The gunman, who was black, committed suicide. “Men often hate each other because they fear each other,” Biden said, quoting King. “They fear each other because they do not know each other. But it was really strange, to hear those kinds of shots next to the vice-president’s house.” Biden’s home is nestled in a heavily wooded neighbourhood of stately stone-and-brick homes along a curving two-lane road that winds through rolling hills.

The shooting occurred just days after the Delaware national guard increased security at its air base near Wilmington after several incidents in which vehicles approached the main gate before turning around. The Bidens spend many weekends at their Delaware home, and, while he served in the Senate, Biden frequently made a daily commute from Delaware to Washington by train. The national guard base is part of a dual-use facility that includes New Castle airport and which has been used by Biden when he travels to Delaware aboard Air Force Two. Police have released few details about Thursday’s shooting, including the race of the officers and the occupants of the vehicle. “Cops have a right to go home at night to see their families,” Biden said. “All minorities, no matter what the neighborhood, have the right to be treated with respect, and with dignity.”

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