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Biden questions whether shooting of Daunte Wright was intentional

Biden questions whether shooting of Daunte Wright was intentional
AP Photo/John Minchillo
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President Joe Biden appeared to suggest on Monday that the police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright over the weekend may have been “intentional,” while calling for “peace and calm,” as authorities continue to investigate the incident.

Biden told reporters in the Oval Office that he had spoken to Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota and expected a “full-blown investigation” into Wright’s death on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis. The shooting has sparked a new round of violent protests. 

“I think we got to wait and see what the investigation shows,” Biden said. “And the entire investigation. You all watched, I assume as I did the film, which is fairy, the body cam, which is fairly, fairly graphic. Question is, was it an accident, was it intentional? It remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation.”

“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. “And the fact is that, you know, we do know that the anger, pain, and trauma that exists in the black community, and that environment is real, it’s serious, and it’s consequential. But it doesn’t, will not justify violence and/or looting. And so the question is, how we in an orderly way, make clear that you get down to a full-blown investigation to determine what the facts are, and what is likely to happen.”

The full transcript of the president’s comments follows:

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT: Briefly on what happened in Minnesota last night, we spoken to the governor, the mayor, spoken to the authorities there and I haven’t called Daunte Wright’s family, but our prayers with their family. It’s really a tragic thing that happened. But I think we got to wait and see what the investigation shows. And the entire investigation. You all watched, I assume as I did the film, which is fairly, the body cam, which is fairly, fairly graphic. Question is, was it an accident, was intentional it? That remains to be determined by a full blown investigation. 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. And the fact is that, you know, we do know that the anger, pain, and trauma that exists in the black community, and that environment is real, it’s serious, and it’s consequential. But it doesn’t, will not justify violence and/or looting. And so the question is, how we in an orderly way, make clear that you get down to a full blown investigation to determine what the facts are, and what is likely to happen. In the meantime, we’re calling for peace and calm. And we should listen to Daunte’s mom, who is calling for peace and calm. That’s all I have to say at this moment on that issue.

REPORTER: Mr. President do you think there should be federal resources to help keep the peace … ?

BIDEN: So there are already federal resources and we have a significant, we spent a significant amount of time on relating to this particular case, and dealing with what may be aftermath of anything that happens with the trial that’s underway. But there will not be lack of help and support from the federal government if local authorities believe it’s needed. [Inaudible].

At a press conference, Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon stated that he believed the shooting to be accidental. 

"It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet," Gannon said. "This appears to me, from what I've viewed and the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright."

On Tuesday, both Gannon and the officer who shot Wright, Kim Potter, resigned from the Brooklyn Centre Police.

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