Special News Series: Rising Up For Justice! – What to Know About the Death of Daunte Wright
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Introduction To This Series:
This post is one installment in an ongoing news series: a “living history” of the current national and international uprising for justice.
Today’s movement descends directly from the many earlier civil rights struggles against repeated injustices and race-based violence, including the killing of unarmed Black people. The posts in this series serve as a timeline of the uprising that began on May 26, 2020, the day after a Minneapolis police officer killed an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck. The viral video of Floyd’s torturous suffocation brought unprecedented national awareness to the ongoing demand to truly make Black Lives Matter in this country.
The posts in this series focus on stories of the particular killings that have spurred the current uprising and on the protests taking place around the USA and across the globe. Sadly, thousands of people have lost their lives to systemic racial, gender, sexuality, judicial, and economic injustice. The few whose names are listed here represent the countless others lost before and since. Likewise, we can report but a few of the countless demonstrations for justice now taking place in our major cities, small towns, and suburbs.
To view the entire series of Rising Up for Justice! posts, insert “rising up” in the search bar above.
What to Know About the Death of Daunte Wright
By The New York Times Staff
April 14, 2021
A police officer fatally shot Mr. Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn., about 10 miles from where Derek Chauvin is on trial in the killing of George Floyd.
Hundreds of demonstrators poured into the streets of Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Sunday night and Monday night after the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop.
The shooting injected more frustration and anxiety into the Twin Cities region, where the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, is now in its third week.
Here’s what we know about what happened in Brooklyn Center.
How the shooting unfolded.
According to Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, officers pulled Mr. Wright over on Sunday afternoon for a traffic violation related to expired registration tags. Officers then discovered that he had a warrant for his arrest.
As the police tried to detain Mr. Wright, he stepped back into his car, prompting a brief struggle with officers, Chief Gannon said.
In graphic body camera footage shown to reporters on Monday, one officer can be seen pointing a handgun at him and shouting “Taser.” After the car pulls away, the officer yells an obscenity and says, “I just shot him” to two other officers, according to the video…
“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Chief Gannon said…
Katie Wright, Mr. Wright’s mother, told reporters that her son had called her as he was being pulled over.
“He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror,” she said…
Demonstrators clashed with the police.
At a vigil near the scene of Mr. Wright’s death on Sunday, his mother urged protesters to be peaceful…
But hours later, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, protesters chanted and threw bricks and cans at officers. At least 20 businesses inside a nearby mall had been broken into, an official said.
Protesters would gather again on Monday and Tuesday nights, and on both nights the police fired projectiles into the crowds after declaring the protests unlawful. The authorities around the region have imposed curfews.
Daunte Wright remembered as an outgoing young man.
Family and friends remembered Mr. Wright this week for his bright smile and outgoing demeanor, and as a dedicated father to a toddler, Daunte Jr., who was almost 2. As a freshman at Thomas Edison High School, he was voted a “class clown.”
He attended Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis in 2018, said the school principal, Yusuf Abdullah, who said he “was just like any other kid…”
The officer who shot him has quit.
On Monday, officials identified the police officer who shot Mr. Wright as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. Ms. Potter, 48, then resigned from the police, her union said in a statement on Tuesday. Chief Gannon also announced his resignation on Tuesday.
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