Al Sharpton says Minnesota needs ‘air freshener’ for ‘stench of police brutality’ at Daunte Wright’s funeral

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Josh Marcus
·1 min read
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<p>The Rev. Al Sharpton, right, speaks over the casket of Daunte Wright, alongside attorneys Antonio Romanucci, center, and Ben Crump, center left, and the Rev. Greg Drumwright, left, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Minneapolis. The 20-year-old Wright was killed by former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop. </p> ((AP Photo/Julio Cortez))

The Rev. Al Sharpton, right, speaks over the casket of Daunte Wright, alongside attorneys Antonio Romanucci, center, and Ben Crump, center left, and the Rev. Greg Drumwright, left, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Minneapolis. The 20-year-old Wright was killed by former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop.

((AP Photo/Julio Cortez))

When police in Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center pulled over Daunte Wright on 11 April, he told his mother on the phone he thought it was because he had an air freshener blocking his rearview mirror. Moments later, officer Kimberly Potter shot Mr Wright, an unarmed, 20-year-old Black man, mistaking her gun for her Taser.

During his eulogy for Mr Wright on Thursday in Minneapolis, civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton took this as a metaphor.

“We come today as the air fresheners for Minnesota. We’re trying to get the stench of police brutality out of the atmosphere. We’re trying to get the stench of racism out of the atmosphere. We’re trying to get the stench of racial profiling out of the atmosphere,” he said. “Your air is too odorous for us to breathe. We can’t breathe in your stinking air no more.”

“I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement after multiple Black people being killed by police said those words just before their deaths, including George Floyd, who told police he couldn’t breathe 27 times.