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Queens community calls for moves to defund the police following death of Daunte Wright in Minnesota

Katie Wright, Daunte Wright's mother, addresses the media during a press conference outside the Hennepin County Government Center after an officer-involved killing of Daunte Wright, 20, following a traffic stop in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., April 13, 2021. REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

Days after a former Minnesota police officer fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, Queens community members voiced their grief for the young Black man with some calling for action to defund the police.

On Sunday, April 11, Brooklyn Center police reported that Wright was pulled over for expired registration tags on the car he was driving and added that they later found air fresheners hanging from the rear view mirror, a violation under a law in Minnesota and at least six other states in the country.

In a statement, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said that officers also found Wright had a “gross misdemeanor warrant” for missing a court appearance.

But according to a call Wright made to his mother, police told him that he was only stopped for the hanging air freshener.

Daunte Wright and his son Daunte Jr. (Photo via the Wright family)

Body camera footage showed that as Wright re-entered his car after the traffic stop and attempted to drive off, 26-year police veteran Kim Potter shot at Wright with what she allegedly believed to be her Taser. The car went several blocks before striking another car and shortly after, Wright was declared dead at the scene.

Multiple reports confirmed that both Potter and Gannon resigned two days after the incident.

News of Wright’s death sparked Queens residents to call for a broad move to defund the police and hold them accountable.

Others in Queens shared messages of grief and mourning for the young Wright, who left behind a 1-year-old, Daunte Wright Jr. The young man’s aunt launched a GoFundMe campaign with the purpose of “covering funeral and burial expenses, mental health and grief counseling, providing support to Daunte’s infant son, Daunte Wright, Jr., and to help the Wright family in the fight for justice.”

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