MINNEAPOLIS -- Hundreds gathered to remember Daunte Wright Thursday, 11 days after the young Black man was shot by police during a traffic stop and two days after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder in George Floyd's death.
The Rev. Al Sharpton’s eulogy included a stinging rebuke of the possibility that Wright was pulled over for having air fresheners dangling from his mirror.
Wright’s mother has said her son called her April 11 after being stopped in the Minneapolis suburb, Brooklyn Center. She says he told her he had been pulled over because of the air fresheners. Police say he was stopped for expired registration.
During the traffic stop, former officer Katie Potter shot Wright. Her chief said it appeared the officer mistakenly used her gun instead of her Taser. She resigned soon after and is charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Sharpton said Thursday that activists have come to Minneapolis “as the air fresheners of Minnesota.”
He says they are working “to get the stench of police brutality out of the atmosphere.”
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, says his fatal shooting changed both their lives.
“The roles should be completely reversed. My son should be burying me.”
Wright buried her face in her hands and Daunte’s father, Aubrey, briefly took the microphone.
When he passed it back, Katie Wright recalled how her son became father to a boy born prematurely, describing his happiness and pride.
“Junior was the joy of his life. He lived for him every single day.”
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who represents Minnesota, said “true justice is not done as long as Black Americans are killed by law enforcement at more than twice the rate of white Americans.” She repeated calls for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz also spoke at the funeral.
Omar presented the Wright family with an American flag. Walz presented the family with an official proclamation decrying Wright's death.