In Minnesota, Daunte Wright’s death resonates with that of George Floyd

Less than a year after the death of George Floyd, killed during an arraignment in Minneapolis, the death of Daunte Wright has a particular echo in Minnesota.

Less than 20 kilometers separate two cities, shaken by two tragedies that resonate. On Sunday, a policewoman in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, killed Duante Wright, a 20-year-old black driver, mistaking her Taser for her firearm during a traffic stop. It is in this same state in the north of the United States that less than a year ago, George Floyd died during an arrest, pinned to the ground and held face down by four police officers while he was dying under the helpless gaze of passers-by begging the officers too to let him breathe. It was in the midst of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the filmed agent pressing his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, that protests erupted to demand justice for the young man of 20 years. The local prosecutor is due to announce this Wednesday whether he will prosecute Kim Potter, the 48-year-old policewoman, who resigned on Tuesday.

Philonise Floyd, Chyna Whitaker and Ben Crump in Minneapolis, April 13, 2021. © Kerem Yucel / AFP

Since May 25 and the death of George Floyd, Minnesota has been the starting point for a wave of protests against police violence and racism across the United States and the world. Relatives of the two men met on Tuesday and gave a press conference where Philonise Floyd and Chyna Whitaker, George Floyd’s brother and Daunte Wright’s girlfriend appeared. “The world is traumatized to see another African American killed. Every day I wake up telling myself that I never thought the world could be in such a mess. Minneapolis, you can’t cover that up anymore. We are here and we will fight for justice for this family, as we will fight for justice for our brother ”, declared the first under the gaze of Ben Crump, the lawyer who now defends the two families.

George Floyd’s girlfriend was Daunte Wright’s teacher

The lawyer, who also represents the families of other victims such as Breonna Taylor, expressed his sadness: “It’s unbelievable, I can’t realize that in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a suburb. 20 kilometers from where the Chauvin trial over George Floyd takes place, a police officer shoots and kills another unarmed black man. If there is a time when no one in America should be killed by the police, it is during this high point that the trial of Derek Chauvin is, in my eyes one of the most significant cases in terms of civil rights. and excessive use of police force in American history. ”

The story does not resonate only with the similarities of the circumstances of their deaths: “The craziest thing was to learn today that my family is linked to this man, to this family,” Naisha Wright said on Tuesday. the aunt of the young man. “His girlfriend was my nephew’s teacher. My nephew was a lovely youngster. Her smile, oh her smile, the most beautiful. ” For two years, Courteney Ross, the girlfriend of George Floyd, was indeed the teacher of Daunte Wright in a high school in Minneapolis. The young woman remembered from the “Washington PostFrom his former student, “a clumsy boy” who “needed a lot of love.” “Students like Daunte need more resources, but they never have them. Our system does not help children like Daunte. Now I see clearly, more than ever, that this system that I believed in, we stopped doing what we needed to do to protect the lives of black people, ”she continued. She had met the young man again in 2019, while he was being questioned by the police in Brooklyn Center, she recalled. She was walking down the street with George Floyd at the time. “I am filled with sadness. We keep harming our children all the time. It’s so unfair”.

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