In the shadow of the continuing trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, and on the same day that hundreds of grieving, yet still resilient, community members marched and rallied in St. Paul to demand justice for Justin Teigen and all lives lost to police, 20-year-old father of one Daunte Wright was gunned down by police after a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, MN.
Just as in the murder of George Floyd, the circumstances that led to Mr. Wright being shot at point-blank range by a police officer reflect the deep and pervasive harms of our law enforcement systems. Mr. Wright was stopped for having expired tabs. Whether he had a warrant or not, this should never have resulted in his death. Fleeing police does not merit a death sentence.
The LRC is deeply saddened by yesterday’s events in Brooklyn Center. Our hearts and thoughts are with the family of Daunte Wright and all who knew and loved him. Once again, Black parents have to grapple with and process the death of a young Black man and explain it to their children. Today and everyday, our Black community must confront the reality that police might kill them, just for living. As our community takes to the street to demand justice, we demand that force not be used against protesters, and that deadly force not to be used at all, whatever the circumstance.
The LRC was born from movements in African American and American Indian communities that shared the common experience of police violence, along with racial and culturally based oppression – and sought its own tool for advancing justice. Soon after, we were joined by the growing immigrant communities who experienced much of the same.
While oppression takes many forms, all our communities deeply feel the weight of the disregard for our individual humanity that so often pervades our systems, impacts our daily lives in vastly disproportionate ways, creates harmful inequity for our children, and forces communities of color to be unduly vigilant about physical risks on a daily basis – including the very real risk of unnecessary death by police.
The LRC stands with all communities and allies seeking criminal justice reform. We stand with the families of Daunte Wright, George Floyd, Justin Teigen, Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, Terrence Franklin, and all lives lost to police.
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LRC staff include attorneys and advocates from a range of background and lived experiences.
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