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Daunte Wright may have died alone, but his memory has brought communities together nationwide. Plans to take down his memorial at the suburban Minneapolis intersection where Wright was fatally shot by a police officer are now on hold after his family advocated for its stay.
Daunte Wright was killed on April 11 after Brooklyn Center officers pulled him over for having expired license tags and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror — violations that civil rights activists argue are used as a pretext to stop Black motorists.
Kim Potter, the White former cop who claimed to confuse her handgun for her taser before fatally shooting Wright, was handed a two-year sentence last month.
His parents, Katie and Aubrey Wright, along with the family’s attorney, Jeff Storms, will meet with Brooklyn Center city manager Reggie Edwards and the city attorney Troy Gilchrist on Tuesday after Edwards informed the family of plans to take down the memorial, according to the Star Tribune.
For the family of Daunte Wright, the wooden Black Power fist (which originally stood for months at George Floyd’s makeshift memorial) is more than just a symbol. It holds connective power.
“Leave the memorial because it’s honestly not hurting anybody but it will hurt a lot of people taking it down,” Katie Wright said in an interview Sunday.
Since 2020, statues have been destroyed and erected to reflect the society we can all learn from and participate in. Many symbols of hatred and oppression have been replaced with artful works of love as a mirror of our imperfect society.
According to NBC News, the city is interested in partnering with the family and memorial volunteers for a celebration on the anniversary. Katie Wright added that Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott has been supportive and “leading with his heart and doing what is right.”
While nothing will bring the mind, body, and soul of Daunte Wright back to his family, his spirit will be kept alive in a very public way. With city support, the Wright family doesn’t have to mourn in private but can celebrate his life in full view. The venue of next month’s celebration is to be determined, but a candlelight vigil will be held on April 11 at the memorial.