Barack Obama, Beyoncé and More Speak Out After Death of Daunte Wright
By Antoinette Bueno
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Celebrities are speaking out about the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was shot and killed over the weekend by a white police officer in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area.
Wright was driving in Brooklyn Center when he was stopped by police. While he was initially pulled over for an expired registration tag on his car, according to Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, officers then discovered that he had a warrant for his arrest. When police attempted to take him into custody and Wright reentered his vehicle, Gannon said that Kim Potter -- a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department -- "accidentally" shot Wright, though she intended to deploy her Taser. Wright died at the scene.
"I lost my son, he's never coming back," Wright's father, Aubrey Wright, said.
He also said he did not accept the explanation that his son's shooting was an accident.
"I can't accept that -- a mistake, that doesn't even sound right," he said. "This officer has been on the force for 26 years. I can't accept that."
Meanwhile, Wright's mother, Katie Wright, recalled her final conversation with her son. She said he had called her during the traffic stop.
"I know my son was scared," she said. "He's afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don't know why and it should have never escalated the way it did."
"He had a 2-year-old son that's not going to be able to play basketball with him," she added. "He had sisters and brothers that he loved so much. He just had his whole life taken away from him. We had our hearts pulled out of our chests. He was my baby."
A number of celebrities have spoken out about the fatal shooting, including Beyoncé, who shared a photo of Wright on her website.
"Rest in Peace Daunte Wright," her post reads.
In a statement, former president Barack Obama said he and his wife, Michelle Obama, were grieving alongside the Wright family.
"Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police," the statement reads in part. "It's important to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country."
Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police. It’s important to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country. pic.twitter.com/sgcbRjlApr
Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris addressed Wright's fatal shooting during a roundtable on Black women’s maternal health and said he should "still be alive today."
“Our nation needs justice and healing. And law enforcement must be held to the highest standards of accountability,” she said. "We know that folks will keep dying if we don't fully address racial injustice and inequities in our country, from implicit bias to broken systems."
President Joe Biden tweeted on Monday, "Today I'm thinking about Daunte Wright and his family -- and the pain, anger, and trauma that Black America experiences every day. While we await a full investigation, we know what we need to do to move forward: rebuild trust and ensure accountability so no one is above the law."
Today I’m thinking about Daunte Wright and his family — and the pain, anger, and trauma that Black America experiences every day. While we await a full investigation, we know what we need to do to move forward: rebuild trust and ensure accountability so no one is above the law.
Please be thoughtful and sensitive about what you share regarding the #DaunteWright murder. It is important to show support without triggering the hell out of the community you are tying to be supportive of. It is fucking exhausting/harrowing for them to constantly see this shit.
Now I’m seeing this! Here we are saying prayers for ANOTHER family because ANOTHER reckless officer exposed themself at the expense of ANOTHER Black human being. I’m so sorry Daunte Wright 💔 You are so much more than...ANOTHER. I will NEVER get used to this https://t.co/VKStCKpzNo