Minneapolis Shooting By: Annabelle Smallwood
As many of you have probably already heard, there has been another fatal shooting of a person of color by a police officer .
Initially, Daunte Wright was pulled over for a traffic stop for expired tags. The attempt to arrest Wright came when the officers discovered that he had an outstanding warrant stating that he had failed to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a weapon without a permit back in June, 2020.
Kim Potter, a 26-year-old veteran and trainer of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, reacted with her weapon after one of the police officers began to yell, “Taser” to let other officers know that she was about to tase him. Instead, she reported that she accidentally pulled out her police issued pistol and shot him. He managed to drive away, but the gunshot wound caused him to collide with another vehicle. These tragic actions led to the death of 20-year-old Wright.
Potter was first put on administrative leave then later resigned as did Police Chief Tim Gannon. On Wednesday, she was later charged with second-degree manslaughter and booked into the Hennepin County Jail. She has since posted bond. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison under Minnesota law. Many protests have ensued after the death of Wright. The central theme being justice for the death of Wright. While in Minneapolis, the trial of Derek Chauvin is taking place. Chauvin is the officer charged with the death of George Floyd.
Potter is the eight police officer to be charged criminally in a Taser-related case in the past 20 years. While Potter claims that this was a mistake made during a routine traffic stop gone horribly wrong, it is just another unfortunate example of why people of color fear for their lives and well-being when they are pulled over by authorities. Whereas, drivers of any color dread to see red and blue lights flashing in their rear view mirror. For most, the worst that will happen is a warning, ticket and/or a day in a driver refresher course. Although for many members of America’s minority populations, tensions may be greater when it happens to them. This is unfortunate for both the members of law enforcement and people of all races.
Are Daunte Wright and Kim Potter innocent or guilty of anything and if so what? This is for a judge and jury to decide after they have had their “day in court.” Problems such as these that have been exposed by high profile cases such as those involving the Floyd and Wright incidents, should make it clear to even the most casual observer that we must all work together to bring meaningful changes to this distressing problem.
Many people are hurting all over America and even all over the world. There are many heavy hearts. Now, more than ever, it is time to start being kind and showing love. Meet new people that you may not have talked to before. Learn their stories, and find out how you could show love when solving problems.
As Michael Jackson put it, if you want change, look at the “Man in the Mirror.” We should all be striving to make this world a better and more loving place.