Barack and Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, and more speak out after the death of Daunte Wright

  • The 20-year-old Black man was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday, near where the trial for the murder of George Floyd is taking place
  • Celebrities like George Takei, Trevor Noah and Kerry Washington have all spoken out
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Protests broke out after the death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, in the US. Photo: TNS

Celebrities are speaking out after the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by a police officer in the US during a traffic stop.

Wright’s death Sunday night in Brooklyn Center, 10 miles south of Minneapolis in the US state of Minnesota, came as the city was already on edge during the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who faces murder charges in the death of George Floyd last May.

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Barack and Michelle Obama shared that their “hearts are heavy” in a joint statement.

“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.”

The statement added that the Obamas are grieving with the Wright family: “We empathise with the pain that Black mothers, fathers, and children are feeling after yet another senseless tragedy.” They also provided a link to resources on trauma, mental health and how to take action.

Beyoncé posted a tribute on her website Monday, featuring a photo of Wright with the caption “REST IN PEACE DAUNTE WRIGHT.”

“Here we are saying prayers for ANOTHER family because ANOTHER reckless officer exposed themself at the expense of ANOTHER Black human being,” tweeted actress Regina King. “I’m so sorry Daunte Wright. You are so much more than...ANOTHER. I will NEVER get used to this.”

Scandal actress Kerry Washington tweeted on Monday that Wright “should still be alive.”

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“My heart goes out to his family, his friends,” she added. “And to all Black people who are tired of waking up to tragedy after tragedy.”

George Takei wrote on Twitter that he’s “too heartbroken for words on this latest killing.”

“Actually I will say something,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “(Breonna) Taylor was ‘accidentally’ shot by police in her home in Louisville. Botham Jean was ‘accidentally’ shot in Dallas by a cop who went in his apartment. Now Daunte Wright was ‘accidentally’ shot instead of tasered. Too many ‘accidents’ happen,” he said, noting other instances of African Americans killed by police officers in the last few years.

Comedian Trevor Noah discussed Wright in a Monday segment on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

“Maybe if the police weren’t so quick to draw any weapon, then maybe people wouldn’t die because of a mix-up,” the comedian said. “Don’t you find it amazing that cops think everything is a gun, except their own gun? If you have a cellphone in your hand - ‘Oh, that’s a gun.’ If you’re holding a wallet, ‘Oh that’s a gun.’ Their own gun? No, not a gun.”

Several stars including Viola Davis, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato and Michael B. Jordan re-shared infographics with information on what happened and how others can help.

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