WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday called for an investigation into the shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright while urging “peace and calm” in Minnesota.
Wright was pulled over in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Sunday for allegedly having an air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in the state. Police said Monday he was stopped for a traffic violation.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon called the shooting “an accident” after reviewing the body cam footage showed the officer who shot Wright claiming she mistakenly believed she fired her taser and not her gun.
“I haven’t called Daunte Wright’s family, but my prayers are with the family. It’s really a tragic thing that happened,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office on Monday. “The question is, was it an accident? Was it intentional? That remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation.”
The shooting took place just 14 miles from the area where George Floyd was killed last year. The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin is currently underway with Chauvin standing trial for Floyd’s murder.
Floyd’s death sparked protests across the country last year, which led to rioting and looting in some states. The President urged calm and called for any protests to Wright’s shooting to remain “peaceful”.
“There is absolutely no justification, none, for looting, no justification for violence. Peaceful protests, 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,” he said.
The news comes on the same day the White House announced it would be abandoning the initiative to create a police oversight commission, which was one of Biden’s policy promises.
“The strong consensus from all of these groups is that the work should be focused on trying to pass the George Floyd Act and the commission would not be the most constructive way to deliver on our top priorities, so we are working together collectively to do exactly that,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.