Daunte Wright’s death ruled a homicide by Hennepin County medical examiner

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Biden on Monday called for “peace and calm” in the wake of Daunte Wright’s fatal encounter with police in Minnesota, saying his death does not justify violence or looting.

The President also said that he’s awaiting a full investigation into the matter before weighing in on the officer’s intentions. He also noted he has seen the body camera footage of Wright’s traffic stop.

“We’ve spoken to the governor and the mayor, spoken to the authorities there and I haven’t called Daunte Wright’s family, but prayers are with their family. It’s really a tragic thing that happened, but I think we’ve got to wait and see what the investigation shows – the entire investigation. You’ve all watched, I assume – as I did, the film, which is really the body cam, which is fairly graphic. Question is – was it an accident? Was it intentional? That remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation,” Biden told reporters.

The President said he’d been briefed on the situation and continued by urging against looting and violence in the wake of Wright’s death.  

“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 in that environment is real. It’s serious and it’s consequential. But it will not justify violence and/or looting,” Biden 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,” the President added.

When asked if the federal government should be surging in federal resources to keep the peace, Biden said there were already federal resources on the ground, including those already in place in preparation for the ongoing Derek Chauvin trial.

“There will not be a lack of help and support from the federal government if the local authorities believe it’s needed,” he said.

Asked whether he thinks the situation is on a razor’s edge, Biden said, “I’m not going to speculate now. I’m hopeful there’ll be a verdict and an outcome that will be supported by the vast majority of people in the region and that’s my expectation.”

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