Two days after ex-cop Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, the funeral for a 20-year-old Black man killed by a police officer was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Thursday.
A veteran Brooklyn Center officer, Kim Potter, fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop after the police chief claimed she mistook her gun for a Taser, around 10 miles away from where Chauvin was on trial for killing Floyd.
Floyd’s death last year sparked worldwide protests against police brutality and a national reckoning over racial injustice. Wright’s killing earlier this month devastated a community that was already exhausted and traumatized from systemic police violence against Black men. Protests over several nights in the city led to police deploying tear gas and projectiles at demonstrators.
After the shooting and protests, Potter resigned from the police department and was charged with second-degree manslaughter. She was released from jail after posting a $100,000 bond. Her lawyer, Earl Gray, also represents Thomas Lane, one of the officers involved in Floyd’s death who is set to be tried in August. Gray also defended the officer who was acquitted of all charges in Philando Castile’s fatal shooting during a traffic stop.
Civil rights leader Rev. Al Shaprton, who gave the eulogy at Floyd’s funeral in Minneapolis last year, will also be eulogizing Wright during his funeral at the Shiloh Temple International Ministries on Thursday.
Sharpton told the Associated Press that Wright was “a young man just at the beginning of life, full of life.”
“We lose George Floyd over an allegedly forged $20 bill and Daunte Wright over some expired (vehicle) tags — aren’t our lives worth more than that?” Sharpton said.
At a public viewing at Shiloh Temple International Ministries, Wright’s friends and family cried before his open casket surrounded by red roses, the AP reported. His obituary at the memorial described his love for the 4th of July fireworks and the months he spent in a hospital during the premature birth of his son.
Friends and family described Wright as the kind of person they could always count on. He loved his family and his son who is about to turn two.
Wright’s cousin, Mario Greer, said the two of them loved to shoot Roman candles at each other during the 4th of July which was their favorite holiday to spend together. “We’re not gonna be able to do that no more,” Greer said.
Watch Wright’s funeral live here: