If all the events that had come before in Minneapolis were part of a book plot an editor was reviewing for publication, it would be tossed aside if the following chapter contained the events which unfolded Sunday in Brooklyn Center. Simply put, the police shooting and death of a Black man mere miles from the trial of another officer for the killing of another Black man……well, it strains the credulity factor.
But, yes, sadly, and most unbelievably here we are again on a troubled road following the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
It will be a question today in places across the country if there will be protests in light of the news that has shaken the Minneapolis area. There could not have a more dreadful happening in an area already filled with raw tension due to the court proceedings for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who is standing trial in the death of George Floyd. The question many have is will there be marches and protests in other places to show solidarity with the community in Brooklyn Center?
I urge restraint and a laser-like focus on changing policies and create more community policing, which is used with success in so many places nationwide. That does not, however, undo the horrific situation that unfolded 24 hours ago. What news came from the police department today was just plain awful, and will not likely reduce tensions. Rather, I suspect, actually increase them.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters today that he suspects the officer who fatally shot Wright during a traffic stop Sunday might have done so by accident.
“It is my belief that the officer had their intention to deploy the Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” adding that he believes this was an “accidental discharge.”
This does not send a message of confidence to the Black community as such a report from the police department only underscores the feeling of many that their lives are in danger from law enforcement. That is an untenable situation for a society that needs law and order but also confidence that those wearing the Blue uniform are professional in all regards.
The coming hours and days will be tense ones, for sure.