Column: Yet another police shooting makes us face harsh reality

Gillian Eubanks

On Sunday, a young man named Daunte Wright was killed in the suburb of Brooklyn Center near Minneapolis. Wright was pulled over for having air fresheners hanging on his rearview mirror and driving a car with expired registration tags, according to The New York Times.

After being pulled over, it was discovered he had a warrant. The officers tried to arrest him, but Wright retaliated by trying to get back into his car and driving away. Then, he was fatally shot.

The officer who shot him was Kim Potter. Potter supposedly meant to shoot her taser at him, but fired her gun instead. Potter has since resigned and so has the city’s police chief, Tim Gannon. Potter is also facing manslaughter charges. This is still a developing story, but I have many thoughts on this situation.

First of all, I really don’t understand how you mistake a gun for a taser. I would imagine that a cop who had two decades worth of experience under their belt like Potter, they would know the difference. I suppose we could go with the excuse that it was a “heat of the moment decision.”

But to counter that argument, the Brooklyn Center Police Department where Potter was a police officer requires the officers to wear their gun on their dominant side and their taser on the other side. So how does someone with her level of experience and knowledge of her departments protocol make such a detrimental, rookie mistake?

Following Wright’s death, protests have been seen in Minneapolis. This is very similar to last year when Black Lives Matter protests were happening. Brooklyn Center police have declared that protests are “unlawful assembly,” and have set a curfew in place. Funny, I thought we had the right to protest.

Restricting people from protesting seems like quite the opposite of what needs to happen right now. There are voices that need to be heard. Too many Black men and women have been and are continuing to be killed by the police.

For me, a white person, I hear these stories and I feel anger, guilt and sadness. I get so worked up over it, and then I have to remind myself that while this is something that I’m upset about hearing or reading, I can always stop reading the news. Black people don’t have that pleasure though because they have to live this every day.

Reread that last paragraph if you’re white. Realize that this is their reality, and justice isn’t being served to them. For anyone who may have forgotten, Black lives still matter and we need to keep fighting for them.

 

Gillian Eubanks is a junior health communication major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]