President Biden on Monday condemned clashes between protesters and police and the looting of dozens of Minnesota businesses after the fatal police shooting Sunday of Daunte Wright — saying the case must be resolved in an “orderly way.”
Body camera footage released Monday showed a Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, cop warned Wright, 20, that she would tase him during a traffic stop when he resisted arrest for an outstanding warrant. After shooting him, the officer said it was an accident.
Biden told reporters at the White House, “We got to wait and see what the investigation shows — the entire investigation.”
“You all have watched, I assume, as I did the film, which is fairly — the body cam, which is fairly graphic. The question is, was it an accident? Was it intentional? That remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation,” Biden said.
“But in the meantime I want to make it clear again. There is absolutely no justification — none — for looting, no justification for violence. Peaceful protest? Understandable.”
Biden added: “We do know that the anger, pain and trauma that exists in the black community in that environment is real, it’s serious and it’s consequential. But it doesn’t justify violence and/or looting. And so the question is how we in an orderly way make clear we get down to a full-blown investigation to determine what the facts are.”
The president said “In the meantime, I’m calling for peace and calm. And we should listen to Daunte’s mom, who is calling for peace and calm.”
Biden said that he spoke with Gov. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) but not yet to members of Wright’s family. He said that “there will not be lack of help and support from the federal government if local authorities believe it’s needed.”
Wright, an African American, died amid the widely watched trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for allegedly murdering another black man, George Floyd, last year in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death triggered nationwide protests and rioting — causing up to $2 billion in damage, according to insurance company estimates.
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Biden came under criticism for not strongly condemning the Floyd riots when they broke out. But he later upset some protesters when he said “arsonists and anarchists should be prosecuted.”
The rioting and looting in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb, on Sunday reportedly damaged dozens of businesses, but did not immediately spread across the country. At least one police officer was taken to the hospital after being struck with a projectile, authorities said at a Monday press conference.