A continued call for justice - Daunte Wright
In a wave of public outcry, demonstrators are flooding into the streets of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, after yet another Black man has fallen victim to police brutality.
Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old, was fatally shot by police officers at a traffic stop. According to Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Wright was pulled over in relation to expired registration tags. Police soon discovered that Wright had a warrant for his arrest.
Wright had temporarily broken free of handcuffs, jumping back into the driver’s seat. After the brief struggle with detaining him, the police soon pulled out a handgun, shouting “Taser!” As seen in the released body camera footage, the officers, instead of firing a taser, fatally shot the 20-year-old. He was shot once before he died.
“I just shot him,” the officer said, as they drove away. After traveling several blocks, their vehicle soon struck another. Wright was pronounced dead by police and medical workers who arrived at the scene.
Moments before the shooting, Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, was on the phone with him, after he called her that he was being pulled over because of the air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror. After hearing some commotion and chaos, someone hung up on her. The next time she heard about her son was that he had been shot.
The footage of the incident has rightfully sparked mass reaction, especially since the shooting took place just miles from where George Floyd was murdered by police, which was the pivotal event for the Black Lives Matter movement. In fact, Wright had a close connection with Floyd: Floyd’s girlfriend was Wright’s former teacher. While the country is enraged by their murders, the close community in which they lived feels this loss on an insurmountable level. People refuse to let this go unheard; accident or not, Black Americans have been victims to unnecessary police brutality and force, sometimes ending fatally.
There is no question as to why Wright reacted in such a way with the police: he was terrified. He feared for his life, just as so many other Black Americans have endured in the presence of police. Wright’s family and so many others around him demand justice; despite the revolutionary Black Lives Matter movement, Black people are continuing to experience and witness the horrors of our corrupt system.
The officer, who supposedly mistook a gun for a taser, has worked as a police officer for almost 30 years. It’s simply unacceptable to be making novice mistakes that could get someone killed. Police brutality has stripped families of their loved ones, wreaked social havoc on our increasingly divided nation, and ignited fear in those who walk around worried about what will happen because of their skin color.
Daunte Wright is remembered as lovable, caring, and a role model for young children everywhere. He was known to light up any room he walked into with his smile and held promise for a bright, successful future. Yet another life stripped by the arms of police; there has been so much grief and outcry with minimal change. The Black Lives Matter movement has never been, and never will be, simply a trend that simmers down after some time; it is a continual call to action and this action will not cease until a change is achieved.
We must continue to spread awareness, continue to do everything in our power to help the cause, whether that’s donating, attending protests, or learning more about the issue. Innocent lives are being stolen. With all of our social networks and resources, we can stop the ignorance and educate ourselves to further progress and advance. Justice will be served.
Writer - Jasmine Kwok
Graphics - Akshaya Shankarganesh