JCRC Mourns Death of Daunte Wright, Calls for Justice and Accountability
April 12, 2021
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“We join Minnesotans grieving the death of Daunte Wright, yet another Black Minnesotan killed by police. Wright, a 20-year-old father, should still be alive today and the officer must be held accountable. We offer our deepest sympathies to the family of Daunte Wright during this unimaginable time. We offer our support to the broader African American community, including Black Jews and Jews of color.
“We echo St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter who lamented earlier this afternoon ‘there’s probably no such thing as being made whole for what they lost, for who they lost, for the future they lost, for the future we all lost yesterday, for the potential we all lost yesterday. But if we’re going to do something and I would say, we have to do something, it’s committing ourselves to letting his name be the last one on our list.’
“Together with my friend Judge (Ret.) LaJune Lange, President of the International Leadership Institute, we ‘demand justice for Daunte Wright and call on policy makers at the local, state, and federal level to make police reform and accountability an immediate priority as part of the systemic change that needs to occur so Minnesotans, particularly Minnesotans of color, do not have to fear that they will be killed in a police encounter.’
“Wright’s killing by a Brooklyn Center police officer comes as community members are still grieving the death of George Floyd, and are suffering immense stress and trauma during the murder trial of fired Minneapolis Police office Derek Chauvin.
“With regard to balancing peaceful protest and public safety, we appreciate remarks earlier today from Mayor Carter, Governor Tim Walz, Mayor Jacob Frey, and Commissioner John Harrington supporting passionate demonstrations and calls for change while making clear that chaos and destruction will not be tolerated. We thank the Minnesota National Guard for its service in protecting all communities.
“Finally, we note that tonight’s curfew in Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, and Dakota counties conflicts with the first night of Ramadan. We appreciate that an exemption for religious services was granted to enable our Muslim neighbors to observe this most sacred time as a community.”
Photo: “Justice for Daunte Wright” is written near the memorial for George Floyd outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis on Monday (Credit: Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times).
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.