Obama: America Needs to 'Reimagine Policing' after Daunte Wright Death
Former president responds in wake of police-involved shooting of wanted criminal
Former President Barack Obama has declared that America must "reimagine policing" after a wanted criminal was shot dead while trying to escape from police officers on Sunday.
In a statement on Tuesday, Obama blasted the country's policing following the death of Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot Sunday by a police officer outside Minneapolis.
“The fact that this could happen even as the city of Minneapolis is going through the trial of Derek Chauvin and reliving the heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd indicates not just how important it is to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but also just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country,” Obama said in a statement.
“Michelle and I grieve alongside the Wright family for their loss,” he continued.
“We empathize with the pain that Black mothers, fathers, and children are feeling after yet another senseless tragedy.
"And we will continue to work with all fair-minded Americans to confront historical inequities and bring about nationwide changes that are so long overdue.”
Wright's death occurred at the same time and in the same area as the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murdering George Floyd, whose death sparked protests and riots across the country.
Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police. It’s important to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country. pic.twitter.com/sgcbRjlApr— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 13, 2021
Since Wright's death, the streets of Minnesota have been flooded with violent Black Lives Matter rioters.
20-year-old Wright died after a police officer shot him during a traffic stop.
Wright was killed on Sunday afternoon as he attempted to escape from police officers who pulled him over because of expired license plate tags.
Wright had a warrant out for his arrest for a weapons charge and for previously running from police.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon on Monday described the shooting as "an accidental discharge."
He said the officer intended to reach for a Taser but mistakenly grabbed her service weapon and fired a single bullet.
Obama's comments come as some on the left are calling for radical changes.
On Monday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said, without evidence, that Wright's death "wasn't an accident" because policing in the U.S. "is inherently & intentionally racist."
Tlaib appeared to then call for an end to law enforcement entirely.
"No more policing, incarceration, and militarization," she said.
"It can't be reformed."
Many Democrats have been calling for police reform, or in some cases defunding or abolishing police, since Floyd's death in May 2020.
Chauvin is accused of killing him by kneeling on his neck while officers tried to arrest him on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill.