Following the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota, former President Barack Obama took to Twitter to proclaim that the recent shooting serves as “a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing.”
— The Hill (@thehill) April 13, 2021
With as controversial as the fatal, officer-involved shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright is, there’s been no shortage of opinions and takes on the matter coming from pundits, elected officials, and media personalities.
On April 13th, former President Obama weighed in on the incident, saying that the death of Wright serves as another example of why modern day policing should undergo levels of reform to avoid scenarios such as the one that occurred in Brooklyn City earlier in April:
“Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police. It’s important to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country.”
Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police. It’s important to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country. pic.twitter.com/sgcbRjlApr
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 13, 2021
The former president’s statement then segued into affording condolences for the Wright family as they deal with loss of their loved one:
“Michelle and I grieve alongside the Wright family for their loss. We empathize with the pain that Black mothers, fathers, and children are feeling after yet another senseless tragedy.”
“And we will continue to work with all fair-minded Americans to confront historical inequities and bring about nationwide changes that are so long overdue.”
In the realm of commentary surrounding the fatal shooting of Wright, former President Obama’s speculation on the incident is far from being the most radical. For example, Rep. Rashida Tlaib took to Twitter on April 12th to proclaim that all forms of policing and incarceration need to be abolished.
Tlaib characterized the fatal shooting of Wright as being emblematic of racism, and that his death was tantamount to “government funded murder”:
“It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.”
It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist.
Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government funded murder.
No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) April 12, 2021
The officer-involved shooting that led to the death of Wright is heavily nuanced, in that it hosted a lot of situation-specific aspects that culminated to what transpired during that April 11th traffic stop.
There are some that are solely pointing out the actions taken by Wright such as resisting arrest that contributed to the events leading up to the officer-involved shooting. Conversely, there are those that are solely blaming the officer’s actions regarding the incident.
To add even more to the fold, the Brooklyn Center Police Chief (before he resigned) conveyed that the fatal shooting of the suspect was an accident due to former Officer Kim Potter mistaking her sidearm for her taser.
Essentially, this isn’t exactly a black-and-white case.
As of this writing, former Officer Potter has been arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter for the death of Wright. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced Potter’s arrest on the morning of April 14th.
Reportedly, if convicted, Potter could face up to 10 years in prison. However, most convictions of said offense usually result in 5 years or less in Minnesota.
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In other recent reports regarding the fallout of the shooting of Wright, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report regarding armed citizens protecting store fronts amid the riots that transpired in the city.
Here’s that previous report.
BROOKLYN CENTER, MN – In light of Sunday’s officer-involved fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, riots fueled by perceived issues stemming from policing have cropped up throughout the area.
Recently, photos showcase armed citizens posted outside of store fronts, likely as a means to deter rioters and looters from pillaging certain businesses.
I hate that it is necessary but I’m glad to see people protecting their own. We need more of this.
— carolyn tackett (@CarolsCloset) April 13, 2021
As the anniversary of the death of George Floyd looms closer, the state of Minnesota has once again become the proverbial ground zero for riots stemming from police interactions that resulted in the death of a suspect.
The recent fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright has served as a severe point of contention within the city of Brooklyn Center. The officer who reportedly shot the suspect, Kim Potter, has already resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department.
Potter, who was with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 26 years, stated the following with regard to her resignation:
“I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.”
For reasons unknown, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon also resigned on April 13th. All that was conveyed by Gannon on the matter was that he felt that it was best if he stepped down from his role as chief of police.
— Mara Gottfried (@MaraGottfried) April 13, 2021
Following the fatal shooting of Wright, Chief Gannon alleged that the shooting appeared to have been accidental, saying that Potter purportedly believed she was wielding her taser at the time she shot the suspect with her sidearm:
“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.”
Commander Tony Greuning will reportedly serve as acting chief for the department in light of Gannon’s resignation.
The events leading up to the suspect’s death occurred on April 11th, as Wright was seen driving an SUV that afternoon and was stopped for allegedly having expired tags.
Officers on scene found that Wright was wanted for an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, which said court case pertained to carrying a firearm without a permit and fleeing from police back in June of 2020.
The fatal shooting transpired as Wright was attempting to flee from arresting officers at the time.
With what has become essentially the predictable community reaction to controversial officer involved shootings, the city of Brooklyn Center has been experiencing riots in the days since Wright’s death.
Numerous stores have been vandalized and looted by miscreants in the streets, which has resulted in some people taking up arms and posting themselves in front of certain businesses so as to dissuade would be rioters from targeting them.
Some Brooklyn Center stores are being protected by civilians with firearms. The looters have stayed away from these places. pic.twitter.com/fAcmYFxLG6
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) April 13, 2021
These sorts of displays are not all that different from what many saw occur in Minneapolis back in 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
While both Wright’s and Floyds in-custody deaths are extremely controversial, the actions taken by rioters and looters in the wake of both incidents have also been rather controversial and have resulted in divided opinions on the matter.
Check back with Law Enforcement Today for updates on this situation.
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Author: Gregory Hoyt