President Joe Biden called the Daunte Wright shooting “God awful” and insisted that change could come through “police reform” when he met members of the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House on Tuesday.
While the House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in March, the bill has so far stalled in the Senate and the Biden administration has not formed a proposed police commission to put Biden as a candidate.
When asked in the Oval Office on Tuesday what he can deliver when it comes to the interaction between black Americans and the police, Biden replied, “A lot. And I’ll tell you later. Let’s go.’
President Joe Biden (center) and Vice President Kamala Harris (top left) attended an Oval Office meeting on Tuesday with members of the Congressional Black Caucus
20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot dead on Sunday by a female police officer who, according to the police commissioner, mistook her gun for a taser.
Tensions ran high as Brooklyn Center police tried to bolster the police station, surrounded by protesters angry at the death of 20-year-old unarmed Daunte Wright
From there, reporters were escorted from his meeting with lawmakers.
Earlier Tuesday at the White House press conference, press secretary Jen Psaki would not prejudge negotiations on Capitol Hill between Democratic and Republican senators over a bill to reform the police force.
After the White House meeting, Rep. Joyce Beatty, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, expresses optimism to reporters that the Biden administration could get something done in the US Senate.
A police reform bill would require 60 votes to pass.
“Don’t forget that the president comes from a senator. So having two former senators in the room I think speaks volumes about how they will know how to help us and we entrust them with that, ” Beatty said of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee confirmed to reporters that the George Floyd police bill came up at the White House meeting on Tuesday.
On Monday, Biden said there was “ absolutely no justification for violence ” in the wake of Wright’s death.
The 20-year-old black man was shot by a female officer in a Minneapolis suburb.
Police chief said she mistook her gun for a taser.
Peaceful protest is understandable. And the fact is, we know that the anger, pain, and trauma that exists in the black community in that environment is real, serious, and consistent, ”Biden said. “But that doesn’t justify violence.”
The comments were consistent with what Biden said on the campaign trail, when former President Donald Trump tried to make the election on Black Lives versus Blue Lives Matter.
The president also revealed that he had seen the ‘fairly graphic’ camera footage of Wright being shot.
The question is, was it accidental or intentional? That has yet to be determined, ”Biden said.
The president said he had not yet spoken to any of Wright’s family.
“We must listen to Daunte’s mother, who calls for peace and tranquility,” Biden said.
Protesters and law enforcement clashed Sunday and Monday nights, with the state calling on the National Guard.
When asked if he expected the country to be on the cutting edge over this latest murder of a black man by a police officer, the president said he would not speculate now.
“I am hopeful that there will be an outcome that will be supported by the vast majority of people in the region and that is my expectation,” said Biden.
Federal funds were already going into the area pending the end of Derek Chauvin’s trial.
Chauvin is on trial for the Memorial Day 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which rekindled the massive Black Lives Matter demonstrations last summer.
On Monday, the police chief of the Brooklyn Center in Minneapolis, the suburb where the shooting took place, explained that a senior female police officer appeared to have pulled her gun instead of her taser, killing 20-year-old Wright.
The officer was later identified as Kimberly Potter, a 25-year veteran of the police force.
“This was an accidental resignation that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright,” said Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon.
However, Wright’s aunt, Naisha Wright, called for Potter’s jail term for “ not knowing the difference between a fully loaded gun and a Taser. ”
She said to CNN, ‘Accident? An accident? No, come on now! I have a 20,000 volt Taser. They don’t feel like a gun. She said of Potter and her police colleagues, ‘My family’s blood is on their hands.
Police persuaded Wright to say they were expired license plates, his family denied the plates had expired. When the police ran his name, they realized he had an outstanding warrant, they said.
The warrant was for a felony charge of carrying a gun without a license and felony fleeing police, NBC Minneapolis reported. His aunt said the order was for “just some weed.”
When the police asked Wright to get out of the car, he did, but then he got back into the car and tried to flee; then Potter shot him. He could drive away for a while until he crashed. Wright, who had a one-year-old son, was pronounced dead on the spot.
Police camera footage of the deadly incident showed that three officers approached Daunte Wright’s car at Brooklyn Center on Sunday after he was detained for the traffic stop.