- The Washington Times - Monday, April 12, 2021

President Biden did it again. He stumbled on his way up, but this time instead of the stairs of Air Force One, he let his mouth get in his way.

Mr. Biden weighed in on the fatal shooting this weekend of a young Black man named Daunte Wright. The shooting happened Sunday afternoon in a suburb of Minneapolis, where former officer Derek Chauvin is standing trial in the police-custody death of George Floyd.

Those circumstances alone — Black victim, proximity to Minneapolis — were enough to set off flares of anger, violence and looting afire.

That the officer who let loose a single shot that mortally wounded the 20-year-old Mr. Wright is under investigation. The gunshot was not intentional.

Important, too, in this case is the fact that Mr. Biden weighed in on Monday with a double-fisted response, urging “peace and calm” with one hand and saying there is “no justification” for violence” with the other.

How he expected Amercans to respond is anyone’s guess. The protesters responded as protesters do when law enforcers are absent from the immediacy of the event — especially a police shooting involving a Black man.

Things calmed down after Katie Wright, Mr. Wright’s mom, said her piece: “All the violence, if it keeps going, it’s only going to be about the violence. We need it to be about why my son got shot for no reason,” she said to a crowd of people near the scene of the shooting. “We need to make sure it’s about him and not about smashing police cars, because that’s not going to bring my son back.”

After law enforcers got their act together, the looters were on their way out and a semblance of peace was restored.

Of course, Ms. Wright is correct. Her son was dead and a police officer had shot him, but looting and smashing police cars was not going to bring her son back.

The violent protesters knew that as well. It’s just that the hellraisers got away with so much for so long after Floyd died, it’s become the default response to police-involved shootings, especially when the victims, living or dead, is Black.

Perhaps — and this is a big perhaps — Mr. Biden felt he had to say something about Mr. Wright’s death, and not because he was young, Black and legitimately sought by police because of a warrant.

Mr. Wright is dead because the officer who shot used her firearm instead of a Taser.

That’s right. Twice the officer said “Taser, Taser!” Yet she pulled her firearm.

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon called it an “accidental discharge.”

Accidents do happen, like Mr. Biden’s still-unexplained stumbles up the stairs of Air Force One.

Anywho, no one really expected him to say anything out loud except maybe that he spoke with Mr. Wright’s mom.

But he did.

“I want to make it clear again: there is absolutely no justification —none — for looting. No justification for violence. Peaceful protests? Understandable,” Mr. Biden said.

Don’t laugh, either.

He wasn’t showing his pearly whites.

χ Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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