WH: Latest Riots Result of Public ‘Exhaustion’ of Police Shootings

WH: Latest Riots Result of Public 'Exhaustion' of Police Shootings White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks on Monday.

By Eric Mack | Monday, 12 April 2021 02:02 PM

The latest outbreak of unrest in Minnesota after an officer shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man is the result of public "exhaustion" of officer-related shootings, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

"We are incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of life at the hands of law enforcement in Minnesota [on Sunday]," Psaki told reporters at Monday's daily press briefing, noting the ongoing Derek Chauvin trial stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Minnesota police noted the officer Sunday intended to use his Taser instead of his handgun in killing a man identified as Daunte Wright, who died Sunday in Brooklyn Center, a city of about 30,000 people on the northwest border of Minneapolis. Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as "an accidental discharge."

Wright's death sparked violent protests, with officers in riot gear clashing with demonstrators into Monday morning.

"It 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 within just a few miles of where the tragic events happened just a year ago," Psaki said.

The events have now moved the White House to give in to civil rights groups' recommendations against a campaign-promised police commission to address law enforcement reforms and now has the administration focusing on addressing "racial equity" and "putting in place long overdue reforms."

"We have made a decision, in coordination, that the best path forward is to work to pass the George Floyd Policing Act," Psaki said. "That has a great deal of the content of the policy changes, of the necessary reforms that we would all like to see in place. That was collective decision. That's where our focus will be.

"We expect for the time being for our focus to be on moving the legislation forward, and not on the policing commission.

"The commission would not be the best way forward to deliver on our top priorities," she added.

"Real change is a priority for him," she said of President Joe Biden. "It is something he looks forward to continued to discuss with members of Congress."

The Minneapolis area was already on edge because of the trial of the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd's death.

Psaki was pressed on the lack of President Biden's addressing Americans directly on the shooting or other recent events.

"The president does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories," Psaki responded, take a veiled shot at former President Donald Trump's use of Twitter during his administration.

Material from The Associated press was used in this report.

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