It’S happened again. Another Black man killed by police. A Brooklyn Center, MN, police officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright on the afternoon of April 11, minutes after reportedly pulling him over for hanging an air freshener on his rearview mirror.1 This comes while the Minneapolis, MN, police are currently on trial for cruelly and horrifyingly murdering George Floyd on camera last year.
Police cannot be allowed to kill Black people with impunity. The time is now for the Minnesota state legislature to pass meaningful, common-sense laws that will hold police accountable and make families and communities safer. Minnesota must become a leader in police accountability and show our nation that progress and justice are possible.
The killings of George Floyd and Daunte Wright were not an anomaly. Police violence is a real issue that disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and people of color and low-income people, in Minnesota and across our nation. In Minnesota alone, there have been hundreds of deaths from police violence since 2000.2
The torture and killing of George Floyd over eight minutes and 46 seconds is perhaps one of the worst instances of police violence caught on camera in our nation’s history. It could happen again in any community, at anytime, if police are not held accountable.
And Sunday’s killing of Daunte Wright was yet another example of grotesque, unaccountable police violence. While the officer may have been reaching for her taser, the clear escalation to violence, and resulting deadly violence, must be held accountable.
In this moment, as the entire nation and the world watch Minnesota, there is an opportunity for the state to lead the nation by passing transformative laws to promote safety, justice, transparency, and accountability.
Courageous Minnesotans are currently standing up for justice for all, and peaceful protesters are demanding accountability and common-sense laws. Today, we are demanding Justice for George Floyd and all Stolen Lives by urging Minnesota lawmakers to pass the following bills during this year’s state legislative session:
- End the Statute of Limitations for Lawsuits for Wrongful Deaths Caused by Police (HF 717, SF 2021)
- Strengthen Civilian Oversight (HF 640)
- End Police-Only Responses to Mental Health Crisis Calls (HF 1686, SF 1924)
- End Qualified Immunity (HF 1104, SF 580)
- Independent Investigatory and Prosecutory Body for Police Critical Incidents
- End Prosecution for Reporting Police Misconduct (HF 2201)
- End No-Knock Warrants (HF 1762, SF 2139)
- Require Police to Carry Professional Liability Insurance (HF 440, SF 815)
- Require Access to Body Worn Camera Footage in Police Critical Incidents within 48 Hours (HF 1103, SF 807)
A growing coalition of community groups, including Communities United Against Police Brutality, Minnesota Disability Justice Network, Minnesota Justice Coalition, Racial Justice Network, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Minnesota, is demanding police accountability and an end to police violence.
Together, we can demand that our elected officials have the courage to take on unaccountable police violence, now.