Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – In 2013, when he was mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, John Fetterman used his shotgun to stop an unarmed Black jogger and detain him, telling the police that he had heard shots fired near his home and spotted the man running, according to the police report. “Fetterman continued to yell and state that he knows this male was shooting,” the police report says.
On Tuesday, John Fetterman issued a video and written statement regarding the event, which was published by the New York Times. In his statement, Fetterman blamed Republicans for recently exposing the facts of the story, which had been buried by local news outlets.
“I’m not going to just sit here while a bunch of Republicans who have never given a damn about racial justice launch these bad-faith attacks from the safety of their gated communities,” Fetterman said in his statement. “They’ve never had stray bullets hit their home, or had a bullet whiz by so close that you can feel the air move. When I ran for mayor, I made a commitment to do whatever I could to confront this gun violence — and that’s exactly what I’ve done.”
“I believe I did the right thing,” Fetterman told WTAE-TV at the time. “But I may have broken the law in the course of it. I’m certainly not above the law.”
The victim, Chris Miyares, told the local TV station in 2013 that John Fetterman had pointed the gun at his chest; the mayor denied doing so. Mr. Miyares said the incident unnerved him, and he maintained that what Fetterman took to be gunshots were bottle rockets set off by a group of kids.
The experience of being held at gunpoint by Fetterman left a permanent impression on the life of Mr. Miyares, who has reportedly suffered an emotional decline in the years following the event in Braddock.
Fetterman stands by his decision to detain the unarmed jogger at gunpoint, and has made no apology to Miyares.
In the new video released Tuesday, John Fetterman explained the tattoos on his forearms. His left arm displays the 5 digit zip code of Braddock, Pennsylvania (population 2,159) and his right arm contains the dates of murder victims in Braddock during the time when Fetterman was mayor.