Daunte Wright: Hundreds attend Minneapolis funeral of man shot by police

BBC World News – Hundreds of mourners, including family members and activists, have attended the funeral of a black man who was shot dead by police in Minneapolis. Daunte Wright, twenty, was killed during a routine traffic stop in the Brooklyn City suburb of the city on 11th April.

The city was already on edge amid the high-profile trial of a white ex-police officer accused of murdering African-American George Floyd last year.

That officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of murder on Tuesday.

The spate of incidents in Minneapolis have triggered national outrage and widespread protests. They also prompted the US justice department to launch an investigation into the practices and conduct of the city’s police department.

The investigation will examine whether there has been a pattern “of unconstitutional or unlawful policing” in Minneapolis, Attorney General Merrick Garland said earlier this week.

Hundreds of mourners, many wearing face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, gathered at a historically black church in the north of the the city on Thursday afternoon to remember Mr Wright. The Reverend Al Sharpton, a veteran civil rights leader, delivered the eulogy at the Shiloh Temple International Ministries, just as he did at Floyd’s funeral last year.

Rev. Sharpton spoke about the rallying cry “no justice, no peace” that has been chanted at civil rights protests for decades. “It became the chant of our movement,” he said. “The absence of justice is the absence of peace.”

“Peace is the presence of justice,” he continued. “You can’t tell us to shut up and suffer. We must speak up when there is an injustice.”

Katie Wright, Wright’s mother, remembered her son as a loving father before becoming so overcome with emotion that she had to cut her tribute short.

“My son had a smile that was worth a million dollars. When he walked in the room he lit up the room,” she told mourners through tears.

“I remember when Daunte first became a father – his son was born at twenty-eight weeks so he was premature. The joy that Junior brought to Daunte’s life was truly amazing.

“He was so happy and so proud, and he always said he couldn’t wait to make his son proud. Junior was the joy of his life, he lived for him every single day.”

The Reverend Jesse Jackson, also a civil rights leader, attended the funeral, as did Ben Crump, the lawyer representing the families of both Wright and Floyd.

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