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Minnesota Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Verdict in the Trial of Brooklyn Center Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black Man

December 23, 2021

The Minnesota chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after the jury found Kimberly Potter, the Brooklyn Center police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, guilty of first and second degree manslaughter. The fatal shooting occurred after Wright was pulled over for having expired license plate tags and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror.

“While today’s verdict is a step towards accountability, it will not bring Daunte Wright back or heal his loved ones from the pain and trauma of his death,” said Jessica De Weerth, a volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Daunte Wright should still be alive today. We will continue to stand with the community, and victims and survivors of police violence in fighting for long overdue change to a racist system that continues to perpetuate violence against Black people.”

Research suggests that implementing specific use-of-force policies can save lives. One 2016 study of 91 large police departments found that the adoption of use-of-force reform policies — exhaustion of other means prior to shooting, bans on chokeholds and strangleholds, use-of-force continuum, de-escalation, duty to intervene, restrictions on police shooting at moving vehicles, and warning before shooting—was associated with fewer people killed by police.

Black residents make up less than 20 percent of the population in both Minneapolis and in St. Paul, but are disproportionately impacted by police use of force. Between 2008 and 2020, Black people were the subject of 63 percent of officer-involved shootings and 62 percent of police use of force incidents in Minneapolis. And in St. Paul, Black people were the subjects of over half of the use of force incidents between 2016 and 2019. In an average year, police shoot and kill 11 people in Minnesota. 

Black people in the United States are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. 

More information about police violence is available here.

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