Unarmed Black people should not die at the hands of the police

Daunte Wright and other Black men who have fallen victim to the police should still be alive


National protests against police brutality of Black people, erupted in 2019 after Sacramento police killed Stephon Clark, including a March 6, 2019, protest in Sacramento. Nearly two years later, the killings continued with the April 11, 2021, killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota.(File Photo)

Daunte Wright was a resident of Brooklyn Center, Minn. He was a young Black man who recently became a father.

Wright is in the news for something that seems to be a recurring event not only in this country but also in Minnesota. 

What happened to Wright is another recent incident of police mishandling a situation involving Black people. Wright was shot four times by the Brooklyn Park Police.

Minnesota is known for being the state where unarmed Black men have died at the hands of police with recent examples that include Philando Castile, who died in 2017, and George Floyd, who died in May 2020.

Video footage from Castile and Floyd’s murders has been nationally televised, which aided in Black Lives Matter’s movement for police reform in this country. 

Black men in this country die at the hands of police far too often. Black people in general are tired of this. As a Black man, my fear shouldn’t be turning into a hashtag but it is. Being pulled over is one of the great fears Black people have because there’s a high chance if a misunderstanding happens you can die and the cycle will continue because nothing will change. 

The officer who shot Wright is Kim Potter, a white woman who has worked as an officer for 26 years. 

According to The NY Times, Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department said that officers pulled Wright over on the afternoon of April 11 for a traffic violation related to expired registration tags. Officers then learned that he had a warrant for his arrest.

According to Gannon, when police tried to detain Wright, he stepped back into his car, prompting a brief struggle with officers, according to The New York Times. 

In the bodycam footage of the incident, Potter can be heard saying “taser” repeatedly towards Wright as the police try to place him in handcuffs.

Soon after failing to detain Wright, he tries to leave but Potter grabs what she said she believes is a taser, but ultimately turns out to be a gun, and as Wright tries to leave, she shoots him four times as he drives away. He later crashes his car and then dies. 

Daunte Wright was an unarmed Black man shot by the police. The story is not something new; Black men always die at the hands of the police. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, one in a thousand Black men can be expected to die at the hands of the police. 

Frank Edwards, a socialist at Rutgers University, ran an analysis study of death involving law enforcement officers which he discussed in the Los Angeles Times. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Edwards says that there are better odds of being killed by the police than winning a lot of scratch-off lottery games.

This says a lot about how it is okay that a Black man being killed by the police is more likely to happen than anyone winning huge money on a lottery ticket. That’s insane. 

Wright shouldn’t have died, but he did thanks to a careless mistake made by Potter. 

The Glock pistol Potter was wielding was black metal and almost a pound heavier than the neon-colored plastic Taser she says she thought she was using, according to NBC News

That excuse is not justifiable. It is careless. She shot the weapon four times. How do you not realize after the first shot that you are shooting a gun? As a matter of fact, you can clearly see the barrel of the pistol in the footage. 

The police’s motto is to protect and serve, but in my opinion, their motto is to shoot first and deny involvement later. 

 As a Black man, I am tired of seeing men that look like me die at the hands of the police every day. It’s sickening and it frightens me. My number one fear is dying at the hands of white police officers who killed me because they don’t know how to properly do their jobs. 

If officers who are well-trained and seasoned veterans continue to make mistakes like this, police training is at fault for these murders. Police training should undergo drastic changes in order to prevent situations like this. 

According to the Mercury News, police officers receive 24-hour personal training every two years.

Perhaps more training is needed, as well as a seminar on how to not shoot unarmed people of color. Just a thought.

Black people are tired of being killed by the police. Before the whole “just comply” crowd speaks, listen and understand this. Other wanted killers who are white and fully armed when they commit a crime have been brought to prison alive. It’s not the same for Black people who are held up and abused and if they make any sudden movements four shots are fired and a life is gone.

Police are not supposed to kill anyone unless their lives are being threatened. Unarmed people can’t threaten anyone’s lives without a weapon, don’t kill unarmed people it’s that simple. 

The only way society can somehow try to fix this is through petitions and awareness. Spread the word that this is not okay and must stop before more Black people become hashtags.