Daunte Wright’s Parents

Daunte Wright thegrio.com
A photo of Daunte Wright and his child. Photo Credit: The Wright Family.

CN: Police Killings of Black People, Gun Violence, Grief, Loss of a Child

Yesterday, the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial began their deliberations. In the midst of the uncertainty of what may come next, Minneapolis looks like a military zone. This morning, my thoughts are with Black community members and activists there. They are with people everywhere who feel the grief over George Floyd’s death and anguish over police brutality across this country.

During the Derek Chauvin trial, also in the Minneapolis area, officer Kim Potter killed Daunte Wright, a beloved, 20 year old Black man. He was a son, a father, and a friend.

And here’s a thought that keeps emerging in my mind…

When George Floyd was killed by Derek Chauvin in a horrific, brutal way on camera — when he struggled to breathe, begged for his life, and called out for his Mama,

surely, Katie and Aubrey Wright, Daunte Wright’s parents, imagined,

What if that was my son?

And then, horrifically, later,
It was.

I imagine every parent who lost a child to police violence first saw a previous story in the news and thought,

What if that was my child?

only for it later to be their child.

This is devastating,
It is psychological violence,
It is physical violence.

What are we going to do to stop this?

Renee Roederer

2 thoughts on “Daunte Wright’s Parents

  1. I hope in our rush to show sympathy for the victims and their families that we are also holding the “criminals” in our prayers. Yes, police need to police differently, but did Derek and Kim show up to work that day ready to have their lives and families become the focus of international disgust and anger? Did they want to destroy the lives of some of the people they promised to protect? It seems like we can only empathize with one “side,” not both. Rather than shifting the scale from black to white, can we not balance the scale?


    1. I honestly have to believe that when Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes while he cried out for breath and begged for his life, Chauvin did not intend to protect George Floyd or anyone else (police were called over a $20 counterfeit bill). Chauvin had full capability of stopping what he was doing. People across the world were horrified when we saw that video or heard about it. Why wasn’t Chauvin horrified while doing it?

      Kim Potter has been an officer for 20 years. She pulled Daunte Wright over because of where his air freshener was hanging in his car. She had him get out of the car. As a white person, when we’re pulled over, have we ever had to exit the vehicle? Why do Black people experience this so frequently? She didn’t have to pull him over. She didn’t have to have him exit the vehicle. Surely she knows the difference between what a taser and a gun feels like in her hands.

      No one is only the worst thing they’ve ever done. People are always more than that. Always worth more than one act.

      But I do not empathize with both when one side holds all the power in situation.

      And even when policing does not lead to death, the system does frequently serve mass incarceration, which is another way of ending lives. People in uniform are human beings, and fuller than one moment or this job, but I do not empathize with the system of policing when it is doing so many harms. And people in uniform are accountable for how they are interacting with that system, their role in it, and violence they commit.


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