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Letters to the Editor — April 5, 2021
Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the police killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota was “the repeated outcome of an indefensible system,” siding with fellow members of the “Squad” who condemned the shooting and have called for abolishing the police.
“Daunte Wright’s killing was not a random, disconnected ‘accident’ – it was the repeated outcome of an indefensible system that grants impunity for state violence, rewards it w/ endlessly growing budgets at the cost of community investment, & targets those who question that order,” the New York Democrat, who has backed calls to defund the police, said on her Twitter account Tuesday.
“Cameras, chokehold bans, ’retraining funds, and similar reform measures do not ultimately solve what is a systemic problem. That system will find a way – killings happen on camera, people are killed in other ways, retraining grows $ while often substituting for deeper measures,” she said in another post.
Following the fatal shooting of Wright, a black man, by a white police officer in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, other members of the “Squad” — Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) — called for dismantling the police.
“Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence,” Tlaib wrote in a tweet Monday.
“I am done with those who condone government-funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed,” she said.
“We are sick and heartbroken. In the closing days of Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, Brooklyn Center police killed 20 year old Daunte Wright, another Black man, during a traffic stop,” Omar’s tweet began, referencing the white officer facing trial for killing George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose death last year sparked a summer of racial justice protests — and calls to defund the police.
“This violence is a basic part of police interactions with communities of color,” she continued. “It must stop.”
Pressley, meanwhile, kept her message short, writing, “From slave patrols to traffic stops. We can’t reform this.”
Kimberly Potter, the former police officer who fired the shot that killed Wright after drawing her gun instead of her Taser, will be charged with second-degree manslaughter, prosecutors said Wednesday.
She has already resigned from the police force.
Police pulled Wright over Sunday afternoon for having a suspended registration and officers found that he had an outstanding arrest warrant for a misdemeanor charge.
As they were handcuffing Wright, he slipped away and got back in the driver’s seat, where he was shot by Potter, a 26-year veteran.
Wright managed to drive off, but crashed a short way down the road and was pronounced dead at the scene.
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