Amid nationwide outcry over the latest police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, Vice President Kamala Harris weighed in on the ongoing debate over police mistaking a gun for a taser.
“There is a big difference between the two,” Harris told TheGrio. “Among the issues is the issue of training and having law enforcement who carry both be very clear about the difference between the two, because as we have seen the consequence can be the loss of life and an unjustifiable loss of life.”
With Wright’s murder taking place in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, just a few miles away from the ongoing murder trial of Derek Chauvin, heightened unrest and tension have ignited as protests over America’s racial bias issue continues.
“Law enforcement has to be held to the highest standards of accountability, and if we don’t fully address racial injustice and the inequities in our country, we are going to continue to see the kind of thing that we have been experiencing,” she said. “At the core of that are issues that are about systemic racial injustice and implicit bias. And sadly, those are issues that permeate all of our system.”
During a press conference on Tuesday, Harris said that Wright “should be alive today” and noted how people “will keep dying” if America doesn’t address its longstanding issue of racial bias.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneSanders46) April 13, 2021
“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.”
Following the fatal shooting, Police Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department described it as “an accidental discharge.” Gannon claimed officer Kimberly Potter, a 26-year veteran, discharged her gun after allegedly mistaking it for her Taser. Both Gannon and Potter announced their resignations on Tuesday, CBS reports.