Will police brutality in the US ever end?

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 12: Activists march towards the Multnomah County Sheriff's office during a protest against the killing of Daunte Wright on April 12, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. Wright, a Black man whose car was stopped in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Sunday reportedly for an expired registration, and not far from where George Floyd was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis last May, was shot and killed by an officer who police say mistook her service revolver for a Taser. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

A 20-year old gets shot at a traffic stop

We all remember what happened after the murder of George Floyd during the summer. Many people were distraught by the video of him getting choked to death by a police officer and this led to a renewal of the Black Lives Matter movement and began a series of protests, not only in the United States but across the world.
Now, almost a year later the trial of Derek Chauvin (the police officer that killed Floyd) was in its third week and nearing its end when another tragic encounter with the police occurred.
Daunte Wright, a 20-year old Black man was shot on Monday during a traffic stop, only 20 minutes away from the place where Floyd was murdered last year.

According to Chief Tim Gannon, police officers pulled Wright over on Sunday afternoon for a traffic violation related to expired registration tags. Afterward, officers discovered that he had a warrant for his arrest. The police then made attempts to detain Wright, however, he stepped back into his car and that caused a brief struggle with the policemen.

In the body camera footage that has since reached the general public, one can see that an officer points a gun at Daunte Wright and says “Taser. Taser. Taser” multiple times, as the car starts to drive away, a gunshot can be heard, followed by the voice of a woman saying “I just shot him”. The vehicle with Wright’s body in it proceeded to travel for a few blocks and hit another car. Daunte Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.

Chief Tim Gannon stated that it is his belief that the police officer wanted to taser the citizen and not shoot him but made a mistake and shot a bullet.

According to Daunte Wright’s mother Katie, he called her as he was getting arrested and informed her that the police had pulled him over for having “air fresheners’ on his window. She said that afterward, the phone call dropped. When she called back, a woman told her that he had been shot.

On Sunday, protesters started gathering in front of the Brooklyn Police Department, where they chanted, while throwing bricks and cans at police officers. Even though Daunte’s mother urged the crowd to be peaceful and that this violence is not needed, the police reported that over 20 businesses had been broken into during the protest in a nearby mall. The protest has been going on for over three days now and authorities around the Minneapolis area have imposed curfews.

After the accident, the police officer who shot Daunte Wright has resigned. On Monday, officials reported that Kim Porter, the 26-year veteran was the one who committed the
The Department has since announced that the 48-year-old has resigned from the police, Chief Gannon also announced his resignation on Tuesday.

US Army Lieutenant gets pepper sprayed by Windsor police officers

In another incident involving the police and a Black man, the Virginia police department will likely undergo an investigation after two officers threatened a US Army officer.
On December 5th in Windsor, Virginia, US lieutenant Caron Nazario was stopped by two policemen for not having permanent license plates. After pulling over at a well-light area, the footage shows the two officers pointing guns at the US army officer and threatening him. Afterward, the two representatives of the police department pepper-spray Nazario and push him to the ground, as he begs them to know what he did wrong.

The Chief of the Windsor Police Office R.D. Riddle told reporters that they performed an internal investigation just three days after the traffic stop. Without giving more details, Riddle said that disciplinary action was taken and completed in January. The chief called this incident “a teaching moment” for his department and continued by saying that the police officers missed an opportunity to verbally defuse the situation and instead went to their pepper sprays and tasers.

Riddle went along to state: “At the end of the day I’m glad that nobody got hurt. That situation ended in the best way it could have. I wish he would have complied a whole lot earlier”,claiming that the US Army lieutenant also had a role in how things played out.

Investigation has been launched on the Windsor Police Department

Nazario has since filed a lawsuit seeking $1 million in compensatory damages for a violation of his right by the two police officers.

On Wednesday, Caron Nazario’s attorney said in a statement the following:
“The statements from the Police Chief of Windsor today demonstrate the systemic policing issues that generate civil rights violations across the country. The Chief continues a false narrative and victim-blaming. He claims Second Lieutenant Nazario did not comply. The video shows otherwise.”

Town Manager William Saunders announced that one of the officers involved in the incident, Joe Gutierrez was released from his duties following an investigation, however the other officer, Daniel Crocker remains on the job.The Chief of the Police department had the following comments about Gutierrez’s dismissal:

“I lost faith in his ability to continue to serve the community to the standards that we expected him to, I felt that there was no way he could effectively serve our community anymore.”

Regarding the other police officer, Riddle had that he is a lifelong resident of the town of Windsor, who wants to serve his community and that he is the one who made an effort to verbally de-escalate the situation. He went on to say that with additional training and more experience, he could continue to serve the town of Windsor well.
Since this information came out publically, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has launched an investigation of the Windsor Police Department for a “pattern of misconduct”.
In a statement in front of CNN, Herring said:

“One of the things I am looking into is whether there might have been a pattern of misconduct — of police misconduct, either by these officers specifically or more broadly within the department.”
Right now, the general public is waiting for more information regarding the investigation.

What do you think?

Written by Ivana


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