White House press secretary Jen Psaki spoke Monday about President Joe Biden’s support for protests, ahead of the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minnesota.
“His view is also that exercising First Amendment rights and protesting injustice is the most American thing that anyone can do,” Psaki said.
She added that Biden wanted the protests to remain peaceful.
Psaki responded with the president’s views during the White House press briefing after she was asked for a response to comments by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) calling for a “more confrontational” approach if the jury found Chauvin not guilty.
She said the White House would not speak about the verdict until after it was released by the jury.
“When the jury makes their deliberations and concludes and a verdict is found, I’m certain the president will speak to that,” Psaki said.
She said Biden understood the black community’s frustrations on the issue of police shootings, and remained committed to “undoing this long-standing systemic problem.”
“He has been very clear that he recognizes the issue of police violence against people of color, communities of color is one of great anguish,” she continued. “And it’s exhausting and quite emotional at times.”
Biden met with the Floyd family last year during the 2020 presidential campaign.
He described the killing of Floyd an “act of brutality” in a campaign speech and called for all Americans to “grapple” with their “complacency” on issues of police shootings.
“Nothing about this will be easy or comfortable, but if we simply allow this wound to scab over once more without treating the underlying injury, we’ll never truly heal,” he said. “The very soul of America is at stake.”