October 20, 2021

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Hundreds mourn Daunte Wright, killed by an officer near Minneapolis

Hundreds mourn Daunte Wright, killed by an officer near Minneapolis

Daunte Wright’s mother approached hundreds of people at the funeral Thursday, tearfully telling them how the 20-year-old shot dead by police this month was looking forward to raising her son.

“She always said she couldn’t wait to make her son proud,” said Katie Wright as she was joined by her husband and Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy at the Shiloh Temple. International ministries in north of Minneapolis.

Wright, who was black, was killed during a traffic stop in the Brooklyn Center suburb on April 11 by then officer Kim Potter, who is white. Wright had retired from the police in his car after they attempted to arrest him with a pending warrant for missing a court hearing on a misdemeanor gun charge.

Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center police force, has since resigned and has been charged with manslaughter. The police chief said Potter traded his pistol for a Taser after stopping Wright for driving with expired labels.

Wright’s funeral came just days after a Minneapolis jury convicted Derek Chauvin, another former white police officer, for killing George Floyd, 46, who was black. Some of those who appeared at Wright’s funeral had attended Floyd’s, including Floyd’s relative and lawyer Benjamin Crump, who represents both families.

Crump repeatedly stopped to recognize relatives of other Black victims whose names have become rallying cries for civil rights and Black Lives Matter movements: Emmett Till, Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, and Breonna Taylor . The lawyer summoned Floyd’s relatives to the front of the church where they stood, fists raised, as the crowd cheered.

“We have to show support,” Floyd’s aunt Angela Harrelson said in an interview at the start of the funeral. “Even though we won the battle, the war is still going on.”

Harrelson, a nurse living in the suburbs of Minneapolis, attended with her brother, Selwyn Jones, of Gettysburg, SD

Crump led the packed church singing: “Daunte’s life counted!”

“How did Agent Potter see Daunte Wright? More importantly, how does America view our children? “Crump said.” … We need to make sure Daunte Jr. knows we defended her father. ”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sitting in front of the church with the governor. Tim Walz and Rep. Ilham Omar (D-Minn.), Called on fellow senators to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which was passed by the House last month but has yet to be voted on in the Senate.

The bill seeks, among other things, to improve police training to prevent racial profiling, ban bottlenecks and no-knock warrants, and put an end to “qualified immunity”, which protects police from civil lawsuits.

“True justice is not done as long as having expired tags means losing your life during a traffic stop,” Klobuchar said at the funeral. “True justice is not done until a choke, knee on the neck or a warrant not to knock are considered legitimate controls.”

In his eulogy, Sharpton encouraged continued protests until the Floyd deed is passed and justice is achieved for Wright’s family.

“We will not be silent until there is justice,” he said, citing the deadly police shootings this week in North Carolina and Ohio.

Protesters gathered Thursday afternoon outside Stillwater, Minnesota, home to the prosecutor dealing with Potter’s case, asking him to adjourn his murder charge.

“I will do everything possible to condemn her for what she did,” Washington County Atty. Pete Orput said during a heated exchange with street protesters that he was captured on Facebook live.

“He committed murder, Pete!” the protesters shouted in response. “If that boy were white, there would be no doubt. However, if Kim Potter was a black woman. “

“I’m not trying this case on the street,” Orput said before retiring to his home.

The small crowd sang: “Bring murder charges!”

Activists clashed with police from the Brooklyn Center Police Department last week. Police responded with pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets. But the city of about 75,000 has remained quiet after Chauvin’s verdict.

“We must continue to protest and fight, but peacefully,” said Debra Trainor, 64, a Minneapolis suburban administrative assistant, after attending Wright’s funeral.

“It will be peaceful,” said Brian Jackson, 41, of St. Paul, who runs a sober home and grew up with Wright’s father.

Jackson said Chauvin’s verdict warned local police.

“It will make a big difference,” he said. “Just because they have a badge, they can’t treat someone the way they feel.”