The Black Lives Matter movement has been a major force in the United States in recent years. From Trayvon Martin to Freddie Gray, from Breonna Taylor to Ahmaud Arbery, the black community has suffered from a lot of hate within the past several years. Minneapolis is just one of many cities that is suffering from a world of pain, with two black individuals, George Floyd and Daunte Wright, falling victim to police brutality within a year.
While the trial for Officer Derek Chauvin continues, protests demanding justice surrounding Daunte Wright’s death have emerged, calling for the trial of Officer Kim Potter. As many people recall, Floyd was killed by Officer Chauvin on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for over 9 minutes during an arrest for an alleged counterfeit $20 bill. While gasping for air, Floyd exclaimed that he couldn’t breathe and called out to his deceased mother in his final moments, yet Chauvin was unrelenting. His trial, which began on March 8, saw testimonies from witnesses such as the young woman who filmed Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck and the EMT who arrived at the scene and attempted to save Floyd. Closing statements in the trial were read yesterday, and today we learned that Chauvin was found guilty on all counts. However, the deaths of Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed just a few months prior, helped spark the BLM movement in a world of COVID-19. Other US cities, and even cities internationally, staged protests, demanding justice for these lives taken with no remorse. Then, to pour salt on the wound, the death of Daunte Wright occurred. On April 11, Daunte Wright was pulled over during a traffic stop regarding an air freshener hanging on his mirror. During a brief struggle, Wright was shot and killed by Officer Potter, who claimed she was trying to reach for her taser but instead grabbed her gun. This incident caused protests to erupt nationwide, with angry protesters stating that Potter, as a 25-year veteran of the police force, should’ve been able to tell the difference between a taser and a gun solely by its weight. She has since resigned and has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, but the people say it’s not enough. It isn’t enough, and it won’t be enough. Daunte Wright was only 20 years old. In a heartbreaking moment, many learned that George Floyd’s girlfriend was a teacher of Wright’s when he was in high school. Wright was the father of a toddler. His life was stolen. His son, his girlfriend, his mother, his father, his family and friends will never get him back.
This injustice can’t continue. As a minority, I fear for my life every time I hear news like this. I’m half Asian and half Hispanic, two races that have been attacked for far too long. I refuse to sit idly and let these crimes continue. Minneapolis is hurting, and we need to show our support to this city that has lost two innocent lives. The injustice needs to stop. The hate needs to stop. The killing needs to stop.