RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Ash writes: "Police in the Minneapolis area have killed another young black man, and the justification given so far is, again, no justification at all."

Daunte Wright Sr. with his son Daunte Wright jr. Dead at 20, shot by police. (photo: Katie Wright)
Daunte Wright Sr. with his son Daunte Wright jr. Dead at 20, shot by police. (photo: Katie Wright)

The Daunte Wright Shooting Is Going to Be a Problem

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

12 April 21


VIDEO: Daunte Wright Shooting - The notion that this was ok or “good policing” because the officer thought she was tasing Daunte Wright is deeply flawed. This is violent authoritarianism and its consequences continue to scar the nation every day. The officer should be charged with negligent manslaughter. — MA/RSN

olice in the Minneapolis area have killed another young black man, and the justification given so far is – again – no justification at all.

Early reports indicate 20-year-old Daunte Wright was pulled over, according to his mother, for having an air freshener hanging from the mirror in the car he was driving. That’s no reason to use deadly force.

According to police, Daunte Wright had a warrant for his arrest and when they attempted to take him into custody, he ran back to his car and began trying to drive away. It’s not clear when shots were fired, but Daunte Wright was shot by police. He apparently was able to drive for a few blocks and then crashed into another vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

UPDATE: The police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, have released a video and a statement on the shooting of Daunte Wright Sr. Their position is that the officer involved in the incident meant to draw her taser but mistakenly drew and fired her service firearm, creating a “tragic accident.”

That’s highly problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the Brooklyn Center police and Chief Tim Gannon appear to have concluded the facts of the case prior to a thorough investigation.

The defense that an officer accidentally drew a gun when she intended to draw a taser echoes the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant in Oakland, California. BART police officer Johannes Mehserle’s defense centered on the exact same claim, that he drew and fired a firearm believing it was his taser.

Mehserle was convicted only of manslaughter, not of any murder charge. Mehserle was sentenced to two years in prison. He served a total of 11 months.

Although early details are sketchy, if Daunte Wright was shot for attempting to run from police, that’s going to be a problem. Shooting a suspect merely for attempting to flee is illegal and excessive right out of the gate. It is also all too common in American policing.

Tear gas and rubber bullets are already flying in Minneapolis, and it’s likely going to get worse. Again police have killed, and again the justification appears, at least at this stage, tragically weak.

American police kill on average a thousand people a year. The reason the numbers are so high is that the standards for use of deadly force are too low.

What if Daunte Wright, father of a 2-year-old son, had simply been allowed to drive away? Why was it better for society for the police to use deadly force to prevent that? What if George Floyd had simply walked away? Would the results for our world have been so much worse? Who is the greater threat to society, the killer or the runner? We have waited too long to confront these questions.

The psychology of police killing in America is out of control, and society is paying a terrible price. The Floyd case isn’t even completed yet, and the cycle begins again.

Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner
Email This Page


THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.