White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D-MI) comments following the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Tlaib called simply for an end to policing. She said "It wasn't an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can't be reformed."
"What do you make of those?" Psaki was asked. "Do you disavow her calls for more policing?"
"Well look," Psaki said, "what I can see from here is that that's not the president's view. The president's view is that there are necessary, outdated reforms that should be put in place. That there is accountability that needs to happen.
"That the loss of life is far too high. That these families are suffering around the country. And that the black community is exhausted from the ongoing threats they feel.
"But he also believes that there is a forum for putting in place legislation, the George Floyd Act, that can help put in place many of these necessary reforms in place and that a part of what needs to happen is rebuilding trust in communities in order to get to a better place." Psaki said.
Another reporter asked a follow-up. "There are people all across the country who are demonstrating and actively calling for reform. What expectation should they have for change in the Biden era? What is this president going to bring to bear, if for example, qualified immunity isn't removed from the law? If you can't get that in a bipartisan agreement?"
"Well first we're not going to get ahead of what the discussions are about a bipartisan agreement," Psaki said. "I think what Americans who are exhausted, who have suffered, who are worried about their kids and their family members should know is that the president sees racial equity as a central focus of his presidency.
"And his actions bear that out. He has obviously signed a number of executive actions. He is a strong supporter of putting in place, working through legislation that should put in place permanent reforms, and he will continue to elevate and talk about the need to address these issues across the country at a range of opportunities. And hopefully that gives some reassurance to the public about his commitment."
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