President Biden said on Monday that minorities’ anger over the fatal police shooting of a Black man in Minnesota doesn’t justify violence or rioting after he viewed police body-cam video of the shooting.
“Peaceful protest is understandable,” Mr. Biden told reporters at the White House. “And the fact is that we do know that the anger, pain and trauma that exists in the Black community in that environment is real, serious, and consequential. But that does not justify violence.”
The president was commenting on the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was shot by police during a traffic stop in Minnesota on Sunday, a shooting described by local officials as an accident.
The death sparked protests in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center, during the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for the suffocation death of George Floyd.
The president spoke to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and to local officials. He’s yet to speak with the Wright family, but he said they remain in his prayers.
Mr. Biden said he watched the “fairly graphic” video from the body cam of the officer who shot Mr. Wright.
“We should listen to Dante’s mom who is calling for peace and calm,” the president said. “I think we got to wait and see what the investigation shows. The entire investigation. The question is whether it was an accident or intentional? That remains to be determined.”
The president said there have already been federal resources directed toward Minnesota in preparation for the results of the ongoing trial of Mr. Chauvin. Asked if he expects the country is on a “razor’s edge” over racial justice issues, Mr. Biden says he is “not going to speculate now.”
“I [am] hopeful that there will be an outcome that will be supported by a vast majority of people in the region and that is my expectation,” the president said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was “incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of life at the hands of law enforcement in Minnesota yesterday.”
Ms. Psaki said the latest incident “is a reminder of the pain, the anger, the trauma, the exhaustion that many communities across the country have felt as we see these incidents continue to occur.”