President Joe Biden has spoken out about the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a twenty-year-old Black man, and has suggested that an investigation be launched into the issue in order to determine whether it was accidental or intentional.
Read on for his full, detailed statement.
On Sunday, April 11th, Daunte Wright was pulled over in Minnesota for a traffic violation.
And things were quick to take a very sinister turn.
Shocking bodycam footage has since been released of the officers' confrontation with Wright, an unarmed twenty-year-old Black man.
After pulling Wright - a father of 1 - over for the traffic violation and handcuffing him, officers soon realized there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
But Wright suddenly attempted to reenter his car while being handcuffed, prompting a struggle with the officers.
"I'll tase ya!" a female police officer is heard shouting as the young man tries to get back into his car.
"Taser, Taser, Taser!" she shouts...
But instead of firing a tase gun, she fires a handgun directly at Wright instead.
"Oh s***! I just shot him," she's then heard saying after pulling the trigger.
Wright slams down on the accelerator as he's shot, causing his car to speed away.
He managed to drive several blocks before crashing and dying from a gunshot wound to his chest, according to the medical examiner, as per Sky News.
From the moment Wright's death was announced to the public, outrage was triggered...
tw // police brutality #DaunteWright, a 20 year old father of a two year old, was killed by police in Brooklyn Center. He was on the way to have his car washed when he was pulled over by the police for having an air freshener obstructing the view of the rear view mirror. pic.twitter.com/WHfcpNP7rD— io⁷ (@diorthewhore) April 12, 2021
And people have been demanding justice for yet another Black man to die at the hands of the police here in America.
Prayers are not enough. Daunte Wright should still be with us. While an investigation is underway, our nation needs justice and healing, and Daunte’s family needs to know why their child is dead—they deserve answers.— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) April 13, 2021
Daunte Wright should be alive tonight. And America must respond to the pain and trauma caused by injustices that Black Americans face every day.— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) April 13, 2021
BLACK LIVES STILL MATTER. JUSTICE FOR DAUNTE WRIGHT. pic.twitter.com/rf3bsidk3W— jess 🔞 (@jesssicajones) April 13, 2021
Young people are precious. I think about how funny and sweet my child is. How we worry about them. How beautiful #DaunteWright is and how much he is loved. How he will be missed forever by his baby and his friends and family. For nothing. For nothing. For nothing. JUSTICE NOW.— Gabrielle Miller (@MillerGabrielle) April 13, 2021
*Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, white, walking right by police with his hands up after killing 2 men. They ignore him.— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) April 13, 2021
* Daunte Wright, 20, Black, after being pulled over for expired tags is shot and killed by police.
THIS IS BROKEN!!! pic.twitter.com/Q6zQGfB536
I am sick to my stomach and infuriated by the killing of #DaunteWright. My heart goes out to his family and every one of my Black friends and colleagues dealing with the endless trauma. https://t.co/DjS7LdYTIp— Michael Montano (@michaelmontano) April 13, 2021
On the evening following the tragic event, several hundred people defied the curfew and gathered at the Brooklyn Center police station in protest of Wright's untimely death.
But sadly, it didn't take long for things to turn violent.
Officers in riot gear fired gas canisters and flash-bang grenades after some demonstrators threw bottles and other objects at the station...
And the anger and emotion in the air was undeniable.
Wright's mother, Katie Wright, was also present at the protest.
She later revealed to KARE 11 that she was on the phone with her son as he got pulled over and heard the "scuffle."
"A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, who was the passenger in the car, and said that he'd been shot and she put it on the driver's side, and my son was laying there, lifeless."
She then said:
"My heart is broken in a thousand pieces... I miss him so much, and it's only been a day. He was my life, he was my son and I can never get that back. Because of a mistake? Because of an accident?"
It's utterly heartbreaking to lose yet another innocent life at the hands of police brutality...
But right now, all eyes are on one person... and that's the female police officer who pulled the trigger on this young man.
The police officer has since been identified by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as Kim Potter, a twenty-six-year veteran of the police department.
Ofc. Kim Potter killed Daunte Wright — but did she know the difference between a handgun and a taser? The facts:— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 13, 2021
‼️ 26 years as a police officer — She was 6 YEARS into her career when Daunte was BORN!
‼️ Serves as police union president
‼️ Defended questionable actions before... pic.twitter.com/M9eMU7Tyjw
She is currently on administrative leave pending an independent investigation.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters yesterday he believes the officer meant to reach for her taser but instead grabbed her gun.
"This appears to me, from what I 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," Gannon said, as per BuzzFeed News.
Gannon would not comment directly on whether she would be fired...
But added, "I think we can watch the video and ascertain whether she will be returning."
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott then said that he supported Potter being terminated.
Just got off the phone with Daunte’s father to offer my condolences. I cannot begin to imagine the pain his family is going through right now, but we grieve with you for your loss. I also assured him that I will do everything to ensure justice is served. pic.twitter.com/7D8JazK0dZ— Mayor Mike Elliott (@mayor_elliott) April 12, 2021
"My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession, so I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties."
And now President Biden has given us his thoughts on the issue.
On Monday, Biden urged people to stay calm while a thorough investigation is launched to find out whether the shooting was in fact an accident, or if it was actually intentional.
He said this:
"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 fairly, 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."
He later added this:
"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."
Watch the full video below:
President Biden on fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota on Sunday night: "I think we got to wait and see when the investigation shows and the entire investigation. You all watched, I assume as I did, the film, the body cam, which is fairly graphic." pic.twitter.com/EN7XnKlzeX— CSPAN (@cspan) April 12, 2021
Rest in Peace, Daunte.
Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his family during this terrible time, and we hope justice will soon be served.
This is a developing story and updates will be posted accordingly.