MINNEAPOLIS -- Daunte Wright’s family and friends celebrated his life Thursday, April 22, at his funeral alongside national civil rights leaders who came again to the Twin Cities to mourn another Black man killed by police.
Wright, 20, was shot and killed by a Brooklyn Center police officer during an April 11 traffic stop. Officials said officer Kim Potter had intended to stun the man with her Taser gun but accidentally drew her handgun instead and fired once. Potter was charged with manslaughter.
The funeral comes during an emotional week in the Twin Cities, after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder, the first white officer to be convicted of an on-duty killing of a Black man in Minnesota. As they did for George Floyd, people chanted Wright's name in protests that drew large crowds following the killing.
“My son had a smile that was worth a million dollars,” Katie Wright, Daunte’s mother, told mourners through tears Thursday during the church service. “He was a brother, a jokester, and he was loved by so many. He's going to be so missed.”
Ben Crump, the Floyd family attorney now representing the Wright family, said the officer that day did not try to de-escalate the situation at the traffic stop.
“If she saw your child, Katie, like she saw her child, then I do not think that she would have even reached for a Taser, much less a gun, because when they see their children they see their future. They see the best and the brightest that they have to give to the world,” said Crump.
“I submit to you, America, so do we, when we see our children,” Crump added.
Civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton eulogized Daunte Wright as royalty.
“We come from all over the country because you hurt one of our princes,” he said. “You thought he was just some kid. He was a prince, and all of Minneapolis has stopped today to honor the prince of Brooklyn Center.”
Gov. Tim Walz ordered two minutes of silence statewide earlier in the day to honor Wright’s memory “and remember that every person whose life has been cut short due to systemic racism and discrimination will not be forgotten.”
Reading a proclamation, he told mourners that America and Minnesota can’t rest “until we create a different future for Daunte Wright’s son and every other child like him.”