Another Police Homicide Claims a Black Life

Statement by Kathleen Rest, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Apr 14, 2021

Cambridge, Mass. (April 14, 2021)—A Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer and the city’s police chief resigned yesterday after the officer shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop on Sunday.

Below is a statement by Kathleen Rest, executive director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Daunte Wright was a father, a son, and a friend. He was only 20 years old. His homicide is heartbreaking. The parents of Black children shouldn’t have to worry that their children could be killed during a routine traffic stop. The police department has said that Mr. Wright’s death was an accident—that the officer intended to deploy her Taser, not her gun. But the fact is, his death fits a pattern of police officers taking Black lives. This latest shooting occurred in the midst of Derek Chauvin’s trial, taking place only about 10 miles away, while the entire country bears witness.

“This pattern is destroying families, ripping apart communities, and must stop. That point has been made by many, many people repeatedly and more loudly since the murder of George Floyd. Yet it continues. Institutionalized racism is a sickness that has weighed on our country for centuries. Every person, organization, and government agency must look internally and be willing to make the changes needed so that we all see each other as human beings.”