Family leads rally in Charlotte for Daunte Wright, 20-year-old killed by police officer in Minnesota
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - Daunte Wright, a biracial Black man, was shot and killed by a police officer last month just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Sister Monica Wright, and other family members, led a rally Saturday at Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte in Wright’s honor.
Monica Wright said she lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and has other family members who live in the state. Wright’s brother Marcus lives in the Charlotte area.
“Why am I doing this? Because I want his name out there,” Monica Wright said. “We are going to make sure everyone knows who Daunte Wright is.”
The family spoke at the vigil wearing a shirt the honor Daunte Wright.
“It’s important because my nephew lost his life and the way he lost his life. It shouldn’t be like that,” said Naisha Wright, Daunte Wright’s aunt.
The crowd chanted his name, “Daunte Wright.”
Naisha Wright delivered a passionate speech, sometimes pausing with emotion and tears.
Candles were lit, balloons were released and a moment of silence was held for 23 seconds, which was Daunte Wright’s favorite number.
Naisha Wright said her nephew had a radiant smile that lit up the room. Daunte Wright also had a young child, according to his family.
“He was amazing,” Naisha Wright said. “His smile was something beautiful. It truly radiated. He was so loving. That was my nephew, I love him to death.
“Daunte was trying to become something because he had a son. He loved him to death. They will know my nephew. It is sad it has to be this way, but we are going to get something.”
Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, who has since resigned and has been charged, shot the 20-year-old from close range.
He died at the scene, about 10 miles from where George Floyd died after police officer Derek Chauvin was seen with his knee of Floyd’s neck until he died in police custody.
The death of Wright sparked outrage and days of protest against racism and police brutality.
Police say Wright was pulled over for expired tags, but they sought to arrest him after discovering he had an outstanding warrant. The warrant was for his failure to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.
Body camera video that was released shows Potter approaching Wright as he stands outside of his car as another officer is arresting him.
Potter, a 26-year veteran and training officer, intended to use her Taser on Wright but fired her handgun instead.
As Wright struggled with police, Potter shouts, “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing a single shot from a handgun in her right hand.
Potter was charged three days after Wright was killed during a traffic stop and as the nearby murder trial progressed for the ex-officer charged with killing George Floyd last May. Chauvin was convicted in Floyd’s death.
“I want everybody out there to hold on to your family members and tell them you love them because I didn’t get to tell this to that,” Monica Wright said. “He didn’t deserve this.”
Protesters and Wright’s family members say there’s no excuse for the shooting and that it shows how the justice system is tilted against Blacks, noting Wright was stopped for expired car registration and ended up dead.
“It’s a worldwide this and we have to get this out. It should not be a death sentence for minor things like this,” Naisha Wright said. “We should not have to deal with authority, people protecting and serving, and end up dead.”
Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter.
“What is justice to me and my family, of course, we want to see her get what she deserves, but justice would be if he was still here,” Monica Wright said.
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