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Psaki sidesteps questions on charges against officer who shot Daunte Wright

Psaki sidesteps questions on charges against officer who shot Daunte Wright
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The White House on Wednesday declined to take a position on the second-degree manslaughter charges filed against the former officer who shot Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

"I’m not going to weigh in on legal or law enforcement actions. We’ll leave that to the court and law enforcement authorities on the ground," press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiTaliban seize key Afghan district The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin MORE said when asked if the former officer should face charges.

President BidenJoe BidenMilitary must better understand sexual assaults to combat them The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling MORE has also been careful not to call for criminal charges, urging Americans to allow a full investigation to play out.

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The officer, Kimberly Potter, resigned Tuesday, two days after she shot the 20-year-old Wright during a traffic stop. The Brooklyn Center police chief, who also resigned, said he believed Potter thought she was pulling out her Taser and did not mean to shoot Wright with her gun.

Wright's death, the latest instance of a police officer killing a Black American, has sparked days of protests in the Minneapolis suburb, not far from where George Floyd was killed by a police officer in May. That officer, Derek Chauvin, is currently on trial for Floyd’s death.

Psaki deferred questions Wednesday to the Justice Department on whether the Biden administration would resume a practice of federal investigations into local police departments, something initiated during the Obama administration. Instead, she reiterated Biden’s desire to see Congress pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

"All of these incidents that we’re seeing are just a reminder that too often in this country law enforcement uses unnecessary force and too often that results in the death of Black Americans," Psaki said. "And the president has repeatedly said that he believes we need police reform, and that’s why he’s calling on Congress to deliver that to his desk."