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'Unacceptable': Family of George Floyd and Daunte Wright demand end to police brutality

Wright was shot dead during a traffic stop by a police officer who apparently confused her handgun with her taser

Demonstrators outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Minneapolis.
Demonstrators outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Minneapolis.
Image: John Minchillo

THE FAMILIES OF Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot in Minneapolis, and George Floyd held a press event to demand an end to police brutality. 

20-year-old Wright was shot dead during a traffic stop by a police officer who apparently confused her handgun with her taser, in what the force later described as a horrible accident.

The Minneapolis Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon had told reporters earlier that the officer “had the intention to deploy their taser but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet”.

The US police officer who fatally shot Wright and the Brooklyn Center police chief resigned from their positions yesterday.

“The world is traumatised watching another African-American man being slain,” Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd said of 20-year-old Wright, as he stood with Wright’s relatives at an outdoor press event.

A day earlier Floyd testified in the case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer on trial for murder and manslaughter in the case of George Floyd.

“To the Wright family from the Floyd family, you all have our condolences,” Floyd said yesterday as he consoled the latest African-American family devastated by the death of a loved one at the hands of police. “We’re here, and we will fight for justice for this family.”

The families rejected the accident explanation, as several relatives and activists at the press event called for the officer to be arrested and jailed for her actions.

“A so-called mistake? A handgun for a taser? It’s unacceptable,” Floyd’s nephew Brandon Williams said.

“Just because you are the law doesn’t mean you’re above the law,” he added. “When is enough enough?”

For activists like Toshira Garraway, Wright’s killing is another example of the police brutality and systemic discrimination that has prompted an American reckoning on racial injustice.

“We want the world to know that these are not isolated issues, that in fact George Floyd and Daunte Wright [are] the face of hundreds of murders here in the state of Minnesota that have been covered up for many years,” she told the crowd at the press conference.

Surrounded by relatives, Chyna Whitaker, the mother of Wright’s one-year-old son, and Wright’s own mother Katie Wright spoke emotionally about the last times they spoke with or saw Daunte.

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“I’m just so messed up about it, because I feel like they stole my son’s dad from him,” Whitaker said.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings mentioned in this piece. 

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