White House

Kamala Harris: ‘Folks Will Keep Dying’ if Country Does Not Address Racial Injustice

Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday said Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old black man who was fatally shot by Minnesota police during a traffic stop, “should be alive today” and said people “will keep dying” if the country does not address racial injustice.

“To his family and loved ones: you must know that the president and I grieve with you as the nation grieves his loss and we stand with you,” Harris said. “Our nation needs justice and healing and law enforcement must be held to the highest standards of accountability.”

She continued: “At the same time, we know that folks will keep dying if we don’t fully address racial injustice and inequities in our country from implicit bias to broken systems.”

Officers pulled Wright over for a traffic violation on Sunday and tried to detain him after learning he had an outstanding warrant. He then reentered his car and an officer shot him.

Police Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department described the shooting as “an accidental discharge.” Gannon said the officer, later identified as Kimberly Potter, a 26 year-veteran of the city force, had intended to discharge a Taser and instead fired a single shot at the man.

The car rolled for several blocks until it hit another vehicle. Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. Potter can be heard on body camera footage yelling “Taser” before firing the single shot that killed Wright. She can then be heard saying “Oh sh**, I just shot him.”

Potter resigned on Tuesday, a decision she should was in the “best interest” of the force.

Harris’ comments come one day after President Biden said the death was tragic “but we have to wait and see what the investigation shows.”

“The question is was it an accident? Was it intentional? That remains to be determined,” he said. “I’m calling for peace and calm and we should listen to Daunte’s mom, who is calling for peace and calm.”

“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,” Biden said. “It’s serious and it’s consequential. But it will not justify violence and/or looting.”

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