The decade's most triggering comedy
A bevy of Twitter users mocked Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) for his Juneteenth post, recalling a 2013 incident in which Fetterman pursued a black jogger with a shotgun.
The Pennsylvania Democrat was criticized by some for his post about the “long shadow of systemic racism” in light of an incident from 10 years ago in which Fetterman chased an unarmed black man and pointed a gun at him.
The incident took place when Fetterman was still mayor of Braddock, and Fetterman claimed on WTAE television station that he had heard “assault rifle gunshots” and only used the gun to detain the individual, who was running from the scene, until police arrived.
“Happy Juneteenth! Today we celebrate emancipation + reflect on the long shadow of systemic racism in America,” Fetterman wrote. “PA always stands by the unshakeable truth that Black families matter + Black lives matter.”
Fetterman once pulled a shotgun on an unarmed black jogger https://t.co/xoImij3Xf1
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) June 19, 2023
Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross called Fetterman out, tweeting, “Fetterman once pulled a shotgun on an unarmed black jogger,” while Townhall managing editor Spencer Brown tweeted out a quote from The New York Times that Fetterman “chased down an innocent unarmed Black man.”
Former Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh wrote, “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?”
Steve Guest, former special advisor for communications for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), replied with a screenshot from a Philadelphia Inquirer article entitled “Everything to know about the 2013 John Fetterman jogger incident.”
Other users flooded Fetterman’s post with similar comments referencing the event, such as: “Did you ever publicly apologize to the black jogger you held at gunpoint?” and “Isn’t that you?” with a link to an article on the event.
Fetterman was questioned about the incident during his primary campaign and answered, “I attacked the gun violence problem in Braddock, and we succeeded,” adding that his reaction was merely a “split-second decision.”
Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter had criticized Fetterman for his response during his senate campaign, saying, “He’s not shooting straight on this, no pun intended. Just ‘fess up. Apologize.”
Fetterman acknowledged in an earlier TV interview that he “may have broken the law” and is “certainly not above the law,” but maintained in a statement to The Inquirer that he did not know the jogger was black, since the jogger wore a ski mask and was covered in the winter.
A subsequent police report found that the sound Fetterman thought was gunfire was actually fireworks, though two other witnesses said they also thought they had heard shots.