The death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African-American, at the hands of police is triggering strong political reactions from people across the United States.
Similar to what happened with the George Floyd case last summer, violent protests are sweeping the nations as Black Lives Matter activists another wave of violence.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was among those advocating an end to the police, militarization and incarcerations in the wake of the shooting.
The case of Daunte Wright
Wright was stopped by police officers for having an expired vehicle license plate. After checking the man’s identity, the two agents realized the young African-American man had a prior arrest warrant for carrying a weapon. As he was being handcuffed, Wright resisted arrest and attempted to flee. In the struggle, one of the two officers drew her weapon and fired a fatal shot.
Body cameras captured the moment: the police officers’ reaction was surprising and Wright immediately managed to start the vehicle. Wright, wounded, was only able to drive several blocks before he was involved in an accident. The man ended up dead due to the bullet impact.
Brooklyn Center Police Department Chief Tim Gannon commented at a press conference that the shooting may have been a human error due to the officer’s surprised and agitated reactions. These claims were severely criticized for the difference in weight between a gun and a taser, and for the lack of poise of a police officer to confuse weapons in a high-stress moment such as resisting arrest.
Rashida Tlaib’s call for anarchy
Rashida Tlaib is part of the socialist group “The Squad” in the Lower House. After the case of Daunte Wright, the Democrat took advantage of the situation to make a call for total anarchy through her Twitter account calling for the elimination of law enforcement.
“It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed,” the Democratic representative wrote.
Tlaib’s tweet received a lot of criticism, from journalists, citizens, to congressional colleagues. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) quoted her tweet and asked, “If you don’t want bad guys in jail or police protecting our cities, why don’t we start with your district and see how it goes?”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), also quoted Democratic Rep. Tlaib’s tweet and wrote, “Insane. ‘No more policing.’ it doesn’t get more explicit than this that Democrats want to abolish the police.”
Other reactions to Wright’s death
The deadly shooting sparked a series of riots, looting against businesses and a wave of violence in Brooklyn Center, the city where the event occurred. Many demonstrators came out violently to protest against the police and caused damage to the city. Some Democratic politicians promoted the disinformation that the young man shot was arrested for carrying an aromatizer in his vehicle, a situation that emboldened the most radical activists.
Yesterday in the city of Brooklyn Center violence reigned again in a night of clashes between rioters and police officers.
On the other hand, the reaction of some Democratic authorities, such as Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, was to condemn the actions of police officers, promoting the narrative of police violence against African Americans.
Minnesota Republicans criticized Walz for this and called on him, instead of increasing polarization, to help unite the citizenry.
“Governor, your words fuel fire for protesters. You of all people should know to wait until the @MnDPS_BCA finish their investigation. In your tweet, you should have stopped after the words, ‘praying for Duante Wright’s family'”. Everything after that was inappropriate.@MnDPS_DPS” Saint Paul Republicans told Walz.
President Joe Biden also weighed in on the event calling for “peace and calm” and a thorough investigation where it will be revealed whether or not the officer intended to shoot.
“I have not called Daunte Wright’s family, but my prayers are with the family. It’s really a tragic thing that has happened,” Biden told reporters from the Oval Office late Sunday. “The question is: Was it an accident? Was it intentional? That remains to be determined in a thorough investigation.”
Biden also urged that protests related to Wright’s death be peaceful. The victim’s mother followed suit.
Biden’s message was totally different from that of Kamala Harris, who posted a tweet calling for “answers” for the family: “Prayers are not enough. Daunte Wright should still be with us. While an investigation is underway, our nation needs justice and healing, and Daunte’s family needs to know why their son died -they deserve answers.”