Restaurant community supports mother of Daunte Wright's child with check

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Zoë Jackson, Star Tribune
·2 min read
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Restaurant owners presented the mother of Daunte Wright's child, Chyna Whitaker, with a check for $17,000 Wednesday at her church, Worldwide Outreach for Christ.

Wright, 20, was fatally shot during a traffic stop Sunday by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter.

Brian Ingram of Purpose Driven Restaurant Group and chef and community activist Justin Sutherland collected money from staff donations, vendors and tips.

"I have a four-month-old at home. No words. For us, it was 'let's just raise this child up and do everything we can,' " said Ingram, principal owner of Hope Breakfast Bar in St. Paul. He has worked on community projects before with Sutherland, owner of Handsome Hog in St. Paul who has appeared on national TV food shows.

Pastor Curtis Farrar said he appreciated the example set by the business owners and stood near Whitaker, 21, who he called a beautiful person and church member.

"Chyna is a young person that has committed her life to serving God, and in times like these we certainly do need God because God can only heal the broken heart," Farrar said. "She's been fighting to be an example and believe me it's not easy to be an example when you're young."

Jonathan Mason, a co-founder of the 10k Foundation and a former mentor to Wright, said that the community has to keep fighting for him.

"I knew Daunte. He was a wonderful kid, he was funky. I knew his personality and it's hurting me because I wish I could see him grown up, and I don't get to do that. You don't get to do that and his child doesn't get to do that." Mason said to Whitaker.

Farrar, who has served for 40 years as pastor at the church at what is now known as George Floyd Square, said the church will serve as a support system for Whitaker.

"It's not easy for any young person to raise a child," Farrar said.

Zoë Jackson covers young and new voters at the Star Tribune through the Report For America program, supported by the Minneapolis Foundation. 612-673-7112 • @zoemjack