Daunte Wright: Obamas say police killing reveals ‘how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety’

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Alex Woodward
·2 min read
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 (AP)
(AP)

Barack and Michelle Obama said their “hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man” following the police killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota.

The former president and first lady said in a joint statement on Tuesday that his death – amid the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd – reveals not just the importance of a “full and transparent investigation” but also “just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country”.

“Michelle and I grieve alongside the Wright family for their loss,” Mr Obama said in the statement. “We empathise with the pain that Black mothers, fathers and children are feeling after yet another senseless tragedy. And we will continue to work with all fair-minded Americans to confront historical inequities and bring about nationwide changes that are long overdue.”

The statement follows another night of protests in the wake of Mr Wright’s death in Brooklyn Center, roughly 10 miles from Minneapolis, where Mr Floyd was killed on May 25 2020.

Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force and president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officer’s Association, fatally shot 20-year-old Mr Wright on Sunday during a traffic stop.

Mr Wright, the father of a two-year-old daughter, was unarmed.

Police chief Tim Gannon said Ms Potter “had the intention” to fire a Taser during the stop, but “instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet”.

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She has been placed on administrative leave.

At least 40 people were arrested in the second night of protests following the killing.

Prosecutors in Minnesota rested their case in Mr Chauvin’s trial on Tuesday.

Mr Chauvin, a now-former Minneapolis police officer, is on trial for murder after kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while he was unarmed and handcuffed.

The killings of both men have revived nationwide demands to reform police departments and end racial injustice in law enforcement.

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