Social media users brought up a racial incident from Senator John Fetterman’s past in response to his post celebrating Juneteeth and “black lives”.
Fetterman, the former mayor of Braddock in Pennsylvania before becoming a US senator, tweeted about the meaning of Juneteenth.
“Happy Juneteenth! Today we celebrate emancipation + reflect on the long shadow of systemic racism in America,” Fetterman wrote alongside a graphic reading “Happy June Teenth” in a large font.
“PA always stands by the unshakeable truth that Black families matter + Black lives matter,” he added.
In the flood of replies, many users were quick to bring up a 2013 incident in which Fetterman chased a black man who was running and pulled a shotgun on him, believing he had been involved in a shooting.
“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?” former Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh responded to the post.
Fetterman said at the time that he heard gunshots before he ushered his young son inside their home and called the police.
He then chased the black jogger down, who has passing by chance on that day, with his truck and confronted him with a shotgun in an incident reminiscent of the leadup to Ahmaud Arbery’s death.
“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 said in a local station interview at the time.
The senator claimed he never pointed the gun at the man, but the victim said he “aimed it at my chest”. The jogger also said he believed the gunshots Fetterman heard were actually bottle rockets.
A former city council member of a nearby jurisdiction sad, “If I chased after a person with a gun, I would still be in jail. He’s showing he’s not aware of his white privilege.”