Human Rights & Public Liberties

Human Rights & Public Liberties

Published on: 13 Jan, 2021

Calls for accountability grow after killing of Duante Wright

Published on: 14 April, 2021
Protest in Minneapolis [AL Jazeera]

Protest in Minneapolis [AL Jazeera]

More protests have erupted since the killing of Duante Wright by a Minnesota police officer on Sunday.

Duante Wright, a 20-year old African-American man was killed after he was pulled over for a traffic violation and fatally shot by Kim Potter. The police said the killing was ‘accidental.’

The shooting ignited renewed anger about police brutality in the US.

At a press conference on Tuesday Duante’ Wright’s family called for accountability of the police.

Hours after the killing, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, protesters chanted and threw bricks and cans at officers.

Tensions in nearby Minneapolis are high as the trial of an ex- police officer accused of killing George Floyd in May 2020 continues.

Protesters gathered again on Monday and Tuesday nights in various cities in the US including New York, Portland and Oregon.  On both nights the police fired projectiles such as water bottles  into the crowds after declaring the protests unlawful.

The Minnesota police chief Tim Gannon and police officer Kim Potter both resigned on Wednesday.

Naisha Wright, Daunte’s aunt, said on Monday night that Potter’s resignation was ‘great,’ but she hoped to see more. ‘Put her in jail, like they would do any one of us,’ she said. ‘They would put us into that jail cell. [Firing a Taser] would be no ‘accident.’ It would be murder.’

Speaking to Al Jazeera human rights lawyer Sarah Kay said: ‘The officers’ resignation is not enough. This is not accountability. These gestures pale in comparison to Duante Wright’s death.’

‘The disclosure of  the list of disciplined officers by the NYCLU and the legal aid society in New York showed systematic misconduct’, says Kay, referring to systematic racism in policing.

Kay further stated that police does not operate ‘in good faith’ since black people are not granted the same presumption of innocence white people enjoy.  She says: ‘So many black people were killed for the most routine of interactions and much too often interactions that would never occur had they not been black or brown skinned.’