Birds of a Feather: Fetterman Touts Endorsement from Ex-Cop Sued for Accosting Innocent Black Man

Fetterman pulled a shotgun on an unarmed black jogger nearly a decade ago

Former Washington, D.C. police officer Michael Fanone and Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman.
November 8, 2022

Senate candidate John Fetterman, who pulled a shotgun on an unarmed black jogger nearly a decade ago, touted an endorsement Monday from a former cop sued for violating the civil rights of a black lawyer in Washington, D.C., in 2009.

Fetterman said he was "honored" to receive the endorsement of Michael Fanone, a former Washington, D.C., police officer injured during the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021. Fanone has become a media darling in the aftermath of the Capitol breach for his unvarnished criticism of Republicans he says are responsible for the breach. In an outburst on MSNBC last week, he called Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R.) a "piece of shit" for casting doubt on the 2020 presidential election results.

Fetterman is touting the last-minute endorsement as he tries to link Republican Mehmet Oz to the January 6 riots. The Democrat falsely claimed last week that Oz has called for pardons for defendants charged in the riots. Fetterman also compared the insurrection to the 9/11 attacks, in which Islamic terrorists killed 2,977 Americans.

Fanone may be a perfect fit for Fetterman, who as mayor of Braddock, Pa., pulled a shotgun on an unarmed black jogger he falsely suspected of firing shots near his house. Fetterman admitted after the 2013 incident that he may have broken the law during the encounter, but he has refused to apologize to the man.

Fanone’s racially tinged incident came in 2009, when as a member of the Metropolitan Police Department he conducted an illegal search of a black attorney he falsely suspected of having drugs or weapons.

Michael Maddox, an attorney for Howard University, the historically black college, alleged that Fanone and his partner accosted him while he was sending a work email on a street corner in Washington, according to the lawsuit, first reported by American Greatness. Maddox said Fanone defended the search by claiming they were in "a high crime area." Maddox said he began recording the officers after the incident, at which point Fanone approached him and told him to "stop recording." Maddox said Fanone then "assaulted" him to stop him from recording their encounter.

In his lawsuit, Maddox said the District of Columbia has a long history of "maliciously stopping, searching and detaining African-American men resulting in a violation of their Constitutional rights."

The District of Columbia settled the lawsuit with Maddox in 2014 for $175,000 in exchange for dropping Fanone and his partner as defendants in the case.

Since their respective incidents, both Fetterman and Fanone have condemned the criminal justice system as inherently racist. In a memoir released this year, Fanone asserted that law enforcement "has played a significant part" in America’s "long history of racism." Fetterman rallied to the Black Lives Matter cause in 2016. He has campaigned with numerous activists who support the movement to defund police. He touted endorsements last week from two celebrities, John Legend and Kerry Washington, who support the controversial cause.