The Rochester branch of the NAACP issued the following statement from President Wale Elegbede on the death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center.
On Sunday, April 12, 2021, we learned that 20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot and killed due to the direct action of a Brooklyn Center police officer during a traffic stop. Daunte should be alive today and his life mattered. Both he and George Floyd were Black men, fathers, unarmed, and both died at the hands of police. We have a systemic problem in America where African Americans and people of color are targeted, treated unfairly, and killed.
Last year, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) launched the “We Are Done Dying” campaign to highlight inequalities of police brutality and health disparities. We are done dying and the repeated, unwarranted, and unjustified death of African American fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, and children MUST end. Our black lives matter! Our community is grieving and traumatized with yet another death that has occurred barely less than one year after George Floyd was murdered under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Families are distressed and constantly worry about their loved ones, including children, coming home safely. The Rochester Branch of the NAACP will work with our community and partners on a forum to grieve.
While these tragic deaths did not occur in Rochester, Minnesota, it is paramount we collectively ensure it never does. Full transparency and accountability are needed. To this end, we call for adoption of our NAACP strategic focus areas by law enforcement, city and county leadership, healthcare organizations, businesses and the community at large. Regarding “public safety”, we strongly advocate the following as a starter.
1. Advance policies that require data collection for all police encounters and full transparency of such interactions.
a. A robust, operational, and publicly accessible “transparency dashboard” is important in building and sustaining public trust with African Americans and people of color in our community.
2. Eliminate Racial Profiling.
3. Increase support for community policing strategies.
4. Increase trust and public safety by advancing effective law enforcement practices.
The Rochester Branch of the NAACP consistently advocates non-violence direct action for social justice. As the late Rep. John Lewis stated, “we will never give up, give in, or give out”. We will continue to advocate and fight for social justice for everyone.
Mr. Wale Elegbede
President, Rochester Branch of the NAACP