President Joe Biden struggled Monday with the correct pronunciation of the name of Aaron Salter Jr., a heroic ex-cop and security guard who died Saturday confronting the Buffalo mass shooting suspect.
“We pay tribute to all law enforcement officers and their families who understand what it takes, what’s at risk, to save and protect all of us,” Biden said. “That includes paying tribute to the Buffalo police officer Aaron Salder — Slater, excuse me — who gave his life trying to save others.”
Biden spoke about Salter during a Public Safety Officer Medals of Valor ceremony at the White House for law enforcement and public safety officials.
Salter was a Buffalo police officer for 30 years before retiring in 2022 and taking a security job at the Tops Friendly Market where the shooting took place.
Salter hit the alleged shooter with at least one round from his pistol, but it was blocked by the alleged shooter’s bulletproof armor. Salter was later shot and killed during the attack.
“You’re the heart and soul and very spine of this country and communities,” Biden continued, praising the public safety officials in the room.
During the ceremony, Biden also botched the name of Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat congressman from New York.
“Excuse me. You can call me ‘Bidden,'” Biden joked, mispronouncing his own name. “We’ve known each other so long and I still stumbled. I apologize.”