‘Unacceptable’: Activists denounce Daunte Wright shooting as family hires George Floyd’s legal team

Daunte Wright was killed by police on Sunday as the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin heads towards a conclusion

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Monday 12 April 2021 21:39
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Daunte Wright was ‘accidentally’ shot dead by officer who was trying to taser him
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Lawmakers, activists, and those close to George Floyd’s family are calling the death of another Black man in Minneapolis in police custody on Sunday “unacceptable,” after a police officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center.

“There was NO need to pull out a GUN at Daunte Wright’s traffic stop,” attorney Ben Crump, who represents Mr Floyd’s family, said in a statement on Twitter. “This level of LETHAL force, especially as our country relives George Floyd’s tragic death by cop in the SAME CITY, is absolutely unacceptable! We must demand accountability NOW.”

Mr Wright’s family has retained Mr Crump to represent them.

Many noted the ties between the two cases: both involved police officers killing Black men with lethal force during a stop for a low-level alleged crime, in Mr Floyd’s case a fake $20 bill, and in Mr Wright’s a traffic stop.

Mr Wright’s death also occurred as Minneapolis heads towards the final stages of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering Mr Floyd after kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest last May.

Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton, who has supported the Floyd family as they seek accountability, said he is standing with the Wright family and would “demand justice”.

“This whole climate speaks to why we need serious legislative police reform in this country,” he said later on Monday on NBC’s Meet The Press.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who represents part of Minneapolis, said Mr Wright’s and Mr Floyd’s deaths were both part of the same systematic violence against Black people.

“This violence is a basic part of police interactions with communities of color,” she said on Twitter on Monday. “It must stop.”

Community members also expressed their outrage over another death in police custody and the strong police response to protests, which included tear gas, officers in riot gear, and deployment of the Minnesota National Guard.

In a press conference on Monday, they called for the officer who shot Mr Wright, as well as Brooklyn Center police and city officials, to resign or be fired.

“If it’s any other profession she would’ve been walked off the job at that moment,” said local activist Jaylani Hussein of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “This police officer is protected not only by her own police chief, but the system. And not only that, but an entire military that is outside right now in the sate is protecting a killer police officer.”

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