Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith missed vote on the anti-Asian hate crimes bill while attending Daunte Wright’s funeral

Amy Klobuchar at Daunte Wright's funeral
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., left, speaks with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz before funeral services for Daunte Wright at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, Thursday, April 22, 2021. AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool
  • The Senate passed a bipartisan anti-Asian hate crime bill Thursday in a 94-1 vote.
  • Minnesota’s two senators missed the vote because they were attending Daunte Wright’s funeral.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Tina Smith both paid their respects at the 20-year-old’s memorial.
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Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota did not vote on the Senate’s bipartisan anti-Asian hate crime bill Thursday because they were attending the funeral of Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by a police officer in a Minneapolis suburb last week.

The legislation passed in a 94-1 vote, with only Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri voting against it.

In addition to Klobuchar and Smith, Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Lee of Utah, and Rand Paul of Kentucky also did not vote.

-Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) April 22, 2021

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Minneapolis Thursday to remember Wright, including Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Attorney Ben Crump, Gov. Tim Walz, and family members of Eric Garner and Philando Castile, two Black men who each died after fatal encounters with police officers in 2014 and 2016.

Sen. Klobuchar, Rev. Sharpton, Crump, and members of Wright’s family are expected to deliver special remarks during the funeral.

Uniformed police officers were asked not to attend the funeral, according to CBS News.

Officers pulled over Wright in the small city of Brooklyn Center Sunday, April 11, for expired tags on his license plate, then found he had an outstanding warrant. Police said Wright tried to get back into his car as officers tried to detain him. The former police chief said Officer Kim Potter pulled her gun thinking it was her taser, then fatally shot Wright.

Potter has been charged with second-degree-manslaughter in Wright’s death.