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After milestone police verdict, Minneapolis lays to rest another Black man

PoliticsApr 22, 2021 12:00PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mourners pay respects to Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, Minnesota 2/2

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) - Two days after a Minneapolis jury found a white police officer guilty of murdering George Floyd, the city will lay to rest Daunte Wright, another Black man whose violent death has raised fresh concerns over the way police treat people of color.

The funeral for Wright, 20, who was shot by a white police officer in a Minneapolis suburb on April 11 after a routine traffic stop, will be attended by a number of high-profile civil rights activists as well as family and friends.

The service is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. CDT (1:00 p.m. ET) at Shiloh Temple International Ministries, a historically Black church in north Minneapolis. The Reverend Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy, as he did at Floyd's funeral last year.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued a proclamation calling on residents of the state to honor two minutes of silence at the start of the funeral, saying Wright's death was connected to the "deep, systemic racism" faced daily by Black people.

"While nothing can bring Daunte Wright back to his loved ones, we must continue to work to enact real, meaningful change at the local, state, and national levels to fight systemic racism so that every person in Minnesota – Black, Indigenous, Brown, or White – can be safe and thrive," Walz said.

On Tuesday a Minneapolis jury convicted Derek Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the police force, on all three counts of murder and manslaughter for killing Floyd by pressing his knee into his neck for more than nine minutes last May.

At a public viewing on Wednesday Wright's aunt, Kristie Bryant, described Wright as a doting father to his two-year-old son, who he "loved with all his heart". She said Wright was always smiling and loved to play basketball.

"I feel sadness. I feel like my heart was tore out of my chest," Bryant said after viewing Wright in an open, white casket covered in red roses.

While Chauvin's conviction brought a measure of satisfaction to people calling for an end to brutality and racism in policing, to many Wright's death served as a reminder of the risks facing Black people during encounters with police.

Police video of the shooting shows multiple officers attempting to arrest Wright for an outstanding warrant and an ensuing scuffle. The video then shows Kimberly Potter threatening to stun Wright with her Taser before firing her handgun. She can be heard saying she shot him a few moments later. Before resigning, former Police Chief Tim Gannon said Potter mistakenly used her gun instead of her Taser.

Potter, who also resigned after the incident, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. Potter has not entered a plea and her lawyer, Earl Gray, has not commented about the case.

The shooting of Wright set off more than a week of demonstrations outside the Brooklyn Center police headquarters that turned violent at times, with some protesters hurling objects and the police using tear gas and less-lethal rounds.

"When you watch that video your conscience tells you it is the right thing to do to stand up for Daunte Wright, to speak up for Daunte Wright, and to fight for Daunte Wright," Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney representing the Wright family, said at the viewing on Wednesday.

Crump is also scheduled to deliver remarks at the funeral.

After milestone police verdict, Minneapolis lays to rest another Black man
 

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Comments (5)
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 23, 2021 10:29AM ET
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The guy was a wanted felon who tried to escape. It wasn't a "routine" traffic stop.
Brendon Hosay
Brendon Hosay Apr 22, 2021 10:17PM ET
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I am Apache Indian from Arizona. I've gone through this same systemic racism from White cops here in Arizona. They don't care if your Black, Native or Mexican. These type of things happen when you give a White beta male a badge and a gun and authorization to use force.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 22, 2021 10:17PM ET
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hilarious
Phil Ht
Phil Ht Apr 22, 2021 12:17PM ET
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1 out of every 3 black men have a felony conciction. It is not a race issue.
stephan schwebke
stephan schwebke Apr 22, 2021 8:30AM ET
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Having lived in Chicago, I have seen & experienced the same actions against the colorless, as I have against the colored. A young white had a gun pointed at his head, cocked & loaded, & a foot pressed firmly against his neck, as I drove by. Standing peaceably at a rally for the last of several Bulls championships, trying to figure why several cops were beating a celebrant, I was harshly pushed by 1 of several short cops standing behind me, I noticed the
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Apr 22, 2021 8:30AM ET
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Police brutality happens to all, more often to POC. Just because the focus is on POC doesn’t mean the reforms won’t benefit us all and help protect us from abuse of power.
Clinton Powell
Clinton Powell Apr 22, 2021 8:30AM ET
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Wow I cant believe I finally agree with something you wrote BUT yesAnd White is a color too at least its in my color palette in my art class
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 22, 2021 8:30AM ET
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In 2019 a guy in Dallas died after he was restrained by police, shouting "you're going t ***me". Why didn't you hear about it? The guy was white.
Joel Hauser
Joel Hauser Apr 22, 2021 7:07AM ET
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I am ashamed to be white.I hope black people forgive me and the sins of my ancestors doesn't come to *******as karma.
stephan schwebke
stephan schwebke Apr 22, 2021 7:07AM ET
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ah, innocence.
Clinton Powell
Clinton Powell Apr 22, 2021 7:07AM ET
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Joel HauserIf what you write is true and you are ashamed your mixed up in the head.This country needs God in their lives- end of story
ben sc
ben sc Apr 22, 2021 7:07AM ET
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They won't. Just don't identify as white and you can drop the guilt. Or become a police officer and help atone!
Krasimir Balakov
Krasimir Balakov Apr 22, 2021 7:07AM ET
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you are not white,dont lie
 
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