State Senator Gustavo Rivera released the following statement in memoriam of Mr. Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was killed by police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Sunday, April 11.
"Daunte Wright was a young Black man, a father to his baby son, and a beloved member of a family who is now stricken by grief. Another Black American with a future, deserving of dignity and safety, who was killed by police during a traffic stop.
Daunte Wright should be alive today. Calling his homicide “accidental” is not only outrageous but it is a hollow excuse that offers no solace to those who loved him dearly or to the community at large.
We've learned that the family of George Floyd knew Mr. Wright, which speaks to the tight-knit community in the Minneapolis area and only further underlines the absence of meaningful change since the senseless murder of Mr. Floyd.
Black men and women should not be fearful of losing their lives whenever they drive their cars or walk in their neighborhoods because a police stop is too likely to end in violence or death. Police officers do not have a license to kill and are not above the law. A job with such power and responsibility requires a higher standard of accountability. Officers must be held responsible for the gravity of their actions.
This tragedy once again brings into focus the conversation that we MUST have about how we define public safety and how we claim to maintain it. We cannot ignore all the resources that go to a policing system which ultimately murders our neighbors as opposed to protecting them.
I share my condolences with those mourning Daunte Wright. I grieve the many lives senselessly taken by racist and terrorizing interactions with police officers. We yearn for this pain to end and we must act to make it so."