In the midst of the Chauvin trial, which is adding trauma to communities still mourning the death of George Floyd, our hearts break once again at the news of another police killing.
Yesterday, police in Brooklyn Center shot and killed 20 year old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.
Daunte’s family, friends and community members gathered to grieve his death, and protestors joined to raise their voices against state violence. As a crowd gathered by the Brooklyn Center police department headquarters, police responded with escalation, firing tear gas and flash bangs in spite of the fact they were in a residential area surrounded by apartment buildings home to families and children.
The fact that this took place in Brooklyn Center is meaningful. Brooklyn Center, which borders North Minneapolis, has one of the most significant Black populations of any Minnesota city. Many residents are African immigrants and refugees, while others moved there after being priced out of the Northside.
We’ve been partners with African Career Education Resource and the Black Immigrant Collective organizing for antiracist housing policies in Brooklyn Center, and have seen how displacement and police violence intersect.
Let’s be clear: this will not stop happening until we fundamentally transform our system of policing, which was built upon violence against Black and brown people.
Many claim that such a transformation would be “radical”. But it is not radical to demand a system of public safety that doesn’t kill Black people. It is not radical to demand a system of public safety that holds people accountable, and is proven to prevent violence. It would be a radical departure from our values as Jews and Minnesotans to fight for anything less.
At JCA, we believe that this transformation starts with honest and challenging conversations about public safety and policing within our communities. If you would like to be a part of those discussions, click here.
We support Wright’s family and our partners calling for transparency and accountability. If you would like to show up in person, the family of Daunte Wright has requested a healing candlelight vigil at 63rd Ave N and Kathrene Drive at 7pm tonight. Please bring LED candles and anticipate wind and rain.
But in the end, there is one simple truth: Daunte Wright should be alive. George Floyd should be alive. Philando Castile should be alive. Jamar Clark should be alive.
זיכרונם לברכה | May their memories be a blessing. And may we do the work to ensure that not another person is lost to police violence.