Vice President Mike Pence denounced "rioting and looting" while accepting his nomination during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, but when he pointed to a federal officer killed in Oakland, he failed to mention that officer was allegedly killed by a far-right extremist.
Pence offered a message of "law and order" Wednesday night even as cities across the US continue to face massive protests against police killings of Black people, and attacked the Democratic nominee Joe Biden for not talking about the violence cities have faced.
"President Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest," Pence said. "Rioting and looting is not peaceful protest. Tearing down statues is not free speech. Those that do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Pence praised law enforcement and then referenced Dave Patrick Underwood, an officer with the Department of Homeland Security's federal protective service who was shot and killed in May.
"He was shot and killed during the riots in Oakland, California," Pence said. "Dave's heroism is emblematic of the heroes that serve in blue every day."
The vice president's claim seemed to insinuate Underwood was killed as a result of or even at the hands of Oakland demonstrators who were marching against police brutality. What Pence didn't acknowledge, however, was that the suspect behind Underwood's killing is believed to have been a member of the right-wing extremist "boogaloo" movement and that, according to federal prosecutors, targeted the federal officer and used the cover of the protest hoping to spark anger, civil unrest, and a second Civil War.
But Pence made no mention of the suspected shooter's ties to right-wing extremists, and instead denounced violence that has erupted during Black Lives Matter protests.
"Last week, Joe Biden didn't say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across the country," Pence said. "Let me be clear: The violence must stop — whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha. Too many heroes have died defending our freedoms to see Americans strike each other down."