Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, now running for Senate, addresses a 2013 incident where he pulled a gun on a Black jogger

In this Sept. 21, 2018 photo, former Braddock, Pa., Mayor John Fetterman speaks at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania candidates in Philadelphia

  • Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for Senate, revisited a 2013 incident involving chasing a Black jogger.
  • Fetterman said he chased the man after hearing what he believed to be gunshots go off in his neighborhood.
  • Fetterman said he did not know the race or gender of the person he was chasing at the time.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman addressed a 2013 incident in which he pulled a gun on a Black jogger in a new campaign video released Wednesday. 

Fetterman, who has become a popular figure in Democratic circles, announced last week he’s running for Senate. In an unlisted two-and-a-half-minute video uploaded to YouTube Tuesday, Fetterman discussed the incident, which occurred when he was mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania.

In the video, Fetterman said that he was in his front yard with his then-4-year-old son when he heard what he believed were gunshots. He then saw a man wearing goggles and a face mask running in the direction of the local elementary school. 

“I didn’t know if it was a rampage. I didn’t know if it was a drive-by. I didn’t understand. No one could know what was going on at that point, other than a large number of shots were fired from what sounded like a high-powered rifle,” Fetterman told WTAE in a 2013 interview. 

Fetterman then called the police and followed the man.

Read more: John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor and a rising star in the Democratic Party, isn’t a progressive. He says he’s just being honest.

In a statement to Insider about the incident, Fetterman said: “I made a split-second decision to intervene for the safety and protection of my community, and intercepted the person to stop them from going any further until the first responders could arrive. I stayed in my truck and never came in physical contact with the individual. I had my shotgun, but it was never pointed at the individual, and there wasn’t even a round chambered.”

When police arrived, they searched the jogger, identified as Chris Miyares, and found no weapons. 

Miyares has disputed Fetterman’s claims that he never pointed his gun at him and told reporters at the time that the gun was aimed at his chest. 

“He’s trying to make it like it’s OK. I mean, he’s trying to justify what he did. I mean, you’re the mayor of Braddock in North Braddock with a shotgun,” Miyares told WTAE in 2013.

Insider has reached out to Chris Miyares for comment.

Miyares told the outlet that the gunshots Fetterman believed he heard were actually bottle rockets set off by neighborhood kids.

No charges were filed against Miyares or Fetterman.

In Fetterman’s recently released video, he didn’t apologize for chasing Miyares, and instead said he was motivated to pursue the jogger because the man was running toward a school.

Read more: PA Lt. Gov. John Fetterman launches 2022 Senate bid in an appeal to voters who ‘feel left behind’

“This was a few weeks after the Sandy Hook child massacre. I realized I could never forgive myself if I didn’t do anything,” he said. 

Fetterman denied that he had racially profiled Miyares and told Insider he was unable to identify the race or gender of the person he was chasing at the time.

“Between the ski mask and the way this person was dressed, bundled head to toe in the dead of winter, I didn’t know what race that individual was, or even their gender,” he said.

Fetterman has aligned himself with progressive politics and supported Bernie Sanders’ presidential run. He previously ran for Senate in 2016, and at the time, released a video promoting “sensible gun control.”

In a statement to The New York Times, Fetterman said the incident had been used in bad-faith attacks by his political opponents in the past, “and it’s never gone anywhere because people here know that I did the right thing for my community.”  

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A shouting match broke out in the PA state Senate forcing Lt. Gov. John Fetterman to remove himself

In this Sept. 21, 2018 photo, former Braddock, Pa., Mayor John Fetterman speaks at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania candidates in Philadelphia

  • The Pennsylvania State Senate erupted into a shouting match on Tuesday after Republican senators removed Lt. Governor John Fetterman from his role as president of the Senate.
  • GOP senators objected to Fetterman seating Democratic Sen. Jim Brewster because his Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli has disputed the results of the race.
  • Republican Sen. Jake Corman interrupted Fetterman and began a vote to have him removed from chambers, to which Fetterman volubly protested.
  • After several minutes of yelling, Fetterman left the chambers and Brewster’s swearing-in was blocked.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Pennsylvania state senate devolved into a shouting match during its swearing-in ceremony today after several GOP senators removed Lt. Governor John Fetterman from his position as presiding officer of the Senate during a debate over the seating of Sen. Jim Brewster.  

Brewster narrowly won his race against Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli in the 45th District by just 69 votes. The election was certified by the Department of State and upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, Ziccarelli is challenging the results of the race and the case is still pending. 

Ziccarelli disputes the legitimacy of the election results based on a discrepancy between how various counties in the 45th District handled mail-in ballots. In one county within the district, mail-in ballots that did not have a date on them were discarded, while they were allowed in another. Ziccarelli is asking a judge to throw out 311 undated mail-in ballots which would alter the results of the election.   

The charge against the seating of Brewster was led by Republican Sen. Jake Corman and incoming Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, who insisted Brewster could not be seated while Ziccarelli’s case is pending.

At one point, Corman refused to let proceedings continue until “the gentleman from the 45th [District] removes himself from the rostrum.” 

During the heated exchange, Corman then walked up to a different podium in front of the room and began calling a vote on removing Fetterman from his role as Senate president.

Fetterman attempted to object for several minutes but eventually was forced to cede his position. In a video of the incident, Corman can be seen calling for a vote to remove Fetterman while Fetterman expresses his outrage. 

“You are breaking the Constitution and the law of the Commonwealth and violating the oath of office you’ve actually taken. There is nothing about this day that is appropriate and we will not lay down because you’ve got four more folks on that side of the aisle,” Fetterman can be heard yelling.

“I had no desire to ruin picture day,” Fetterman told the Sharon Herald. “It came down to, there’s got to be a way for both sides to maintain their dignity and we can find a way forward. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.”

In a statement to the Washington Post, Corman said he prevented Brewster from being seated in order to ensure “properly elected representation.”

“Ziccarelli’s position is that Pennsylvania election law is entirely clear that voters must sign and date their mail-in ballot to be counted,” Corman said. “We understand that this issue needs to be resolved promptly while ensuring that the constituents of the 45th Senate District have properly elected representation.”

Governor Jim Wolf told the Sharon-Herald the ejection of Fetterman and the refusal to seat Brewster was “a shameful power grab that disgraces the institution.” 


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