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Remarks Prior to Meeting With Members of Congress on Infrastructure and Jobs Legislation and an Exchange With Reporters

April 12, 2021

The President. Hello, everybody.

Police-Involved Shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota/Protests and Civil Unrest in Metropolitan Minneapolis

I told you a moment ago that I would comment briefly on what happened in Minnesota last night. We've spoken to the Governor and the mayor. I've spoken to the authorities there.

And I haven't called Daunte Wright's family, but our prayers are with the family. It was a really tragic thing that happened. We're—and—but I think we've got to wait and see what the investigation shows—and the entire investigation.

You've all watched, I assume—as I did—the film, which is fairly—the body cam—which is fairly graphic. The question is: Was it an accident? Was it intentional? That remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation.

But, in the meantime, I want to make it clear again: There is absolutely no justification—none—for looting, no justification for violence. Peaceful protest, understandable.

And 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, it's serious, and it's consequential. But it doesn't—it will not justify violence and/or looting.

And so, the question is how we, in an orderly way, make clear that they get down to a full-blown investigation to determine what the facts are and what is likely to have happened.

In the meantime, we're calling for peace and calm. And we should listen to Daunte's mom, who is calling for peace and calm.

And that's all I have to say at this moment on that issue. So——

Protests and Civil Unrest in Metropolitan Minneapolis/Trial of Former Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25, 2020

Q. Mr. President, do you think there should be Federal resources to help keep the peace? Do you think you need to take any additional steps?

The President. There are already Federal resources. And we have a significant—we've spent a significant amount of time, unrelating to this particular case, in dealing with what may be the aftermath of anything that happens with the trial that's underway.

But there will not be lack of help and support from the Federal Government if the local authorities believe it's needed. I hope it's not.

Q. Are you concerned things could be on a razor's edge, sir?

The President. I'm not going to speculate now. I'm hopeful that there will be a verdict and an outcome that will be supported by the vast majority of the people in the region. And that's my expectation and hope.

Thank you.

Infrastructure and Jobs Legislation

Q. Mr. President, do you want to speak on infrastructure?

The President. Thank you. Thank you.

Q. Mr. President, do you want to speak on infrastructure at all, sir?

The President. I think—that's why we're here. It's a bipartisan meeting here. We've got the Dean here. Don Young is here. We've got the Dean. [Laughter] So everything is going to be all right.

But, all kidding aside, we're—we're—I'm prepared to negotiate as to how—the extent of the—my infrastructure project, as well as how we pay for it. But I—if we get in a serious conversation about how to do that.

I think everyone acknowledges we need significant increase in infrastructure. It's going to get down to what we call infrastructure. Some people don't think that—I'm not suggesting anybody here has that view, but there's a lot of folks saying that the fact that we have millions of people not able to drink water because there's lead in the—there—it's coming through lead pipes—I think that's infrastructure. I think broadband is infrastructure. It's not just roads, bridges, highways, et cetera.

So that's what we're going to talk about, and I'm confident everything is going to work out perfectly. [Laughter]


Q. Mr. President, some Republicans—some Republicans say that they're concerned about being "window dressing," Mr. President.

The President. I'm not big on window dressing, if you've observed.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:26 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. Timothy J. Walz of Minnesota; Mayor Mike Elliott of Brooklyn Center, MN; Katie Wright, mother of Mr. Wright; and Rep. Donald E. Young.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Prior to Meeting With Members of Congress on Infrastructure and Jobs Legislation and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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