Senator John Fetterman faced criticism on Twitter after his Juneteenth post, with users pointing out his past incident involving an unarmed black jogger. Fetterman’s tweet celebrated Juneteenth and emphasized the importance of acknowledging systemic racism in America. However, some users reminded him of an incident in 2013 when he pursued and pulled a shotgun on an African-American jogger, mistakenly believing the jogger was involved in a shooting.
Former Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh called out Fetterman, urging him to share the story of chasing down the innocent jogger with a shotgun. Spencer Brown, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, shared a graphic featuring an image of Fetterman wearing his hoodie and the text “John Fetterman chased down an innocent unarmed black man.”
During the 2013 incident, Fetterman explained that he rushed his young son into the house and contacted the police before confronting the jogger with a shotgun by his side. Fetterman admitted that he may have broken the law but believed he did the right thing. He denied racial profiling and claimed he was unaware of the jogger’s race. However, Christopher Miyares, the jogger, stated in an interview that Fetterman aimed the shotgun at his chest.
Critics, such as former city council member Fawn Walker-Montgomery, accused Fetterman of displaying white privilege, stating that she would have been in jail if she had pursued someone with a gun. Fetterman also faced backlash in 2022 during his campaign when it was discovered that “Black Lives Matter” mentions were removed from his website.
Fetterman’s campaign spokesperson explained that the removal was part of an update to the website and that Fetterman still addressed the issue in a personalized video on gun violence.
Despite his struggle with the effects of a stroke in May 2022, Fetterman emerged victorious in the midterm elections, defeating Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz.