‘An indefensible system’: AOC leads calls to abolish police after Daunte Wright killing

Democrat leads calls for reform of US policing as brands including Ben & Jerry’s issue demand for ‘a real system of public safety’

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 14 April 2021 14:25

Daunte Wright: Protests after police shooting of 20-year-old black man

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has described the police killing of Daunte Wright as no “accident”, and once again led calls for the abolition of the police.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the Democratic congresswoman called for reform of the police both in Minneapolis and across the US, in the aftermath of Mr Wright’s death on Sunday, while criticising failures in addressing “what is a systematic problem”.

It came as a number of others in Congress, and famous US brands including Ben & Jerry’s, called for the defunding or abolition of police.

“Daunte Wright’s killing was not a random, disconnected ‘accident’ – it was the repeated outcome of an indefensible system that grants impunity for state violence,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

Offering criticism of “growing budgets”, the congresswoman added that “Cameras, chokehold bans, ‘retraining’ funds, and similar reform measures do not ultimately solve what is a systemic problem,”

“That system will find a way – killings happen on camera, people are killed in other ways, retraining grows $ while often substituting for deeper measures,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

The remarks – among her most outspoken on police reform – come amid the ongoing fallout from the fatal shooting in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Centre on Sunday.

An officer from the Brooklyn Centre Police Department (BCPD), Kimberly Potter, fatally shot Mr Wright, a black 20-year-old, with a firearm following a traffic stop. Officials said afterwards that she believed she was firing a taser.

Another Democratic member of Congress and member of the “Squad”, Rashida Tlaib, on Tuesday went as far as calling for “no more policing” after the Brooklyn Centre shooting.

“It wasn't an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist,” Ms Tlaib wrote. “Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government-funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarisation. It can't be reformed.”

Ben & Jerry’s, the US ice cream brand, also called for the current system of policing to be “dismantled and a real system of public safety rebuilt from the ground up”.

“The murder of #DaunteWright is rooted in white supremacy and results from the intentional criminalisation of Black and Brown communities,” the brand added in a tweet on Tuesday. “This system can’t be reformed.”

US president Joe Biden has pledged to get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act through Congress in the coming months – despite strong opposition from Republicans and police unions.

It comes despite plans for a US police oversight commission, a central tenet of the president’s 2020 campaign, being dropped by the Biden administration on Monday, to focus on the passing the police reform bill.

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