Stand.earth's statement on Daunte Wright and Black Lives Matter
Thursday April 15, 2021

Trigger Warning: police brutality/racism

During a traffic stop on April 11th, 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota – just miles from where another police officer, Derek Chauvin, is on trial for the killing of George Floyd.

Daunte Wright was a beloved father, a son, a boyfriend, and a friend. His life was taken because a police officer, who has been on the force for 26 years, confused her gun for a taser. At first she was allowed to resign and the Brooklyn Center police department said the shooting was accidental. There is an excuse like that for every fatal shooting of a Black person – excuses we have for far too long allowed to cover up the systemic racism, criminalization, and white privilege the so-called “justice” system in North America continues to perpetuate. Only after days of protest was it announced that the officer will be charged with second-degree manslaughter.

If you’re angered, saddened and heartbroken like us, here’s what you can do to help the fight for justice for Daunte Wright.

Donate:

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Learn: 

This act of violence is not only felt by Daunte and his family, but by the entire Black community in the U.S. and beyond. We should not be writing about Daunte just a few months after George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were killed by the police. Last summer should have been a turning point – a point where governments and non-Black communities took action to make sure this injustice stops. Police departments should have been defunded [1] and officers who killed George and Breonna should be in jail. Why does it seem like this country has amnesia when it comes to police brutality and the killing of Black people? Why does the justice system fail to serve and protect BIPOC communities?

Police unions shouldn’t protect murderers or grant immunity for their own when there’s a systemic pattern of misconduct and targeted violence. But police unions – are one of the main reasons George, Breonna, Ahmed, John Crawford III, and countless others have not received justice. It’s time to unpack the history and context the policing system was built upon, to understand that police were never established to protect and serve. Policing in Canada and the U.S. was built to punish and criminalize Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. 

Black Lives Matter. We can say it in solidarity, and we can chant it on the streets, but our actions have to match our words. We have a part to play beyond writing a statement denouncing white supremacy and police brutality. At Stand.earth, we’re working to create a world where respect for people and the environment comes first, and that’s why we encourage our community members to take action, educate themselves on the issue of police brutality, and donate if you can to the communities who are healing and seeking justice for their brothers and sisters. 

This is not the time for non-Black folks to reach out to Black people asking them to educate, explain, and guide us in our unlearning and relearning. And it is never the time to police the tone and the way communities mourn and fight for their right to live. Right now it’s time to hold space and do the work yourself – and with your friends, families, colleagues, and communities. 

We are holding Daunte Wright and his family close in our hearts. And we urge our community to stand with the Black community by doing the work to undo the systems that continue to harm and kill Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities. 

In solidarity, 

- The entire Stand team.

[1] https://www.thecut.com/2020/06/what-does-defund-the-police-mean-the-phrase-explained.html
[2] https://policeunionplaybook.org/