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.
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.
I grieve for #DaunteWright‘s family. There are no good words.
But there is meaningful action. It revolves around #DefundingThePolice, investing in communities, and holding police accountable.
Saying #BlackLivesMatter w/o fighting for transformative change is hollow and cruel.
— Aleda Gagarin for NYC Council D29 (@AledaGagarin) April 12, 2021
Black people get violently harassed by the police so much so that we have to put our own internal systems of safety in place. Calling your mom or dad when you get pulled over is not uncommon in Black households. My heart breaks for the Wright family #DefundThePolice https://t.co/5F2m2ZHXva
— STOP KILLING US ✊🏽 (@EventsbyMarva) April 13, 2021
“I ment to shoot him with a taser but shot him with my gun instead. I guess I can’t tell them apart sometimes. Oops!”
The official police position on the shooting of Daunte Wright is beyond disturbing. Join the fight to change the system! https://t.co/Huct8w3hc3
— Jonathan Bailey🌹 🚩🏴 He/Him (@Jonathan4Queens) April 12, 2021
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.”
Minnesota lost another young Black soul to a police shooting. Daunte Wright was just 20 years old.
He leaves behind a beautiful son, Daunte Jr. and his girlfriend Chyna.
At Chyna’s request, you can donate to her cashapp at $hubby98 to help with diapers, groceries, and clothing. pic.twitter.com/0ccrJ9HN9N
— Jaslin Kaur for City Council (@jaslinforqueens) April 13, 2021
— Grace Meng (@Grace4NY) April 12, 2021
We mourn them all. Rest in power #DaunteWright.
Thread. Read every word. https://t.co/AKwrrjPMt5
— Tiffany Cabán (@tiffany_caban) April 12, 2021