WASHINGTON – Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama issued a statement grieving the loss of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by police during a Sunday traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb.
“Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,” the couple wrote in a joint statement. “It’s important to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country,” they urged.
Wright’s death took place just miles from where the trial of Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who faces murder charges in the death of George Floyd last May, is ongoing. The incident has again sparked outrage and grief in a community already grappling with the Chauvin trial.
“The fact that this could happen even as the city of Minneapolis is going through the trial of Derek Chauvin and reliving the heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd indicates not just how important it is to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but also just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country,” the Obamas said.
The Obamas have spoken out on the killings of unarmed Black men by the police before, including during the former president’s time in office.
In 2014, after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the White House issued a statement calling the 18-year-old’s death “heartbreaking” and directed the Justice Department to investigate the situation.
In 2016, after the shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota by police, then-President Obama called for national concern over the killings of unarmed black men by police.
“This is not just a black issue. It’s not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about,” Obama said. “All fair-minded people should be concerned.”
Last summer, in the wake of historic protests against racism and police brutality after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Obama wrote in a statement that the deaths of black people in police-involved shootings “shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America.”
“It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better,” Obama urged.
Source: USA Today – Breaking News