On April 11, police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on the northwest border of Minneapolis, fatally shot a young Black man named Daunte Wright. According to witnesses, Daunte Wright was being stopped by Brooklyn Center police when he was shot by an officer. He then got back in his car and drove away, driving a few blocks before crashing the vehicle several blocks away.
Carrying Black Lives Matter flags to denounce killing of Daunte Wright (inset photo), protesters are assaulted by police, April 11.
According to the Washington Post, the police told his father, Aubrey Wright, that they stopped his son initially due to an air freshener allegedly blocking his rearview mirror. The father questioned the police motive since his son’s car windows were tinted. The police then claimed that they asked Wright to step out of his car for an “outstanding warrant” before he was killed. (April 12)
Police officials are now saying that the killing of Daunte Wright was an “accident” since the officer who shot him thought it was a taser.
As the murder trial of Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd proceeds, the prosecution will try to portray the defendant as a “bad apple.” In his opening statement, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell alerted the jurors that they would hear police officials testify Chauvin used excessive force in violation of departmental policy to apply restraints only as necessary to bring a person under control. However, this argument obfuscates the racist violence inherent in the U.S. system of policing.
The first prosecution witness to testify about Minnesota Police Department (MPD) policies was retired Sgt. David Ploeger, the supervising police sergeant on duty the day Chauvin killed Floyd. It was his job to conduct use of force reviews. Ploeger testified, “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officer,” when he was handcuffed on the ground and no longer resisting, “they could have ended the restraint.”