Apr 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Obama: Daunte Wright shooting shows "just how badly we need to reimagine policing"

The Obamas wear face masks

Barack and Michelle Obama at President Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. Photo: Saul Loeb/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday stressed that the U.S. needs to "reimagine policing and public safety" after Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by a Minneapolis officer this weekend.

The big picture: Following nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd's death last year, local police reforms were proposed on a scale not seen since the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement. But many of those proposals were never realized.

  • In Minnesota on Monday, a second night of protests over the police shooting of Daunte Wright unfolded in Brooklyn Center, as a large crowd defied a curfew and pleas from city leaders to go home.

What he's saying: "Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police," Obama said in a 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."
  • "Michelle and I grieve alongside the Wright family for their loss. We empathize with the pain that Black mothers, fathers, and children are feeling after yet another senseless tragedy. "
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