Activists, coaches and former presidents alike speak up for justice

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Obama similarly called for an investigation in a statement he tweeted on Tuesday. “Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,” the former president tweeted. “It’s important to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country.”

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich voiced his frustration for nearly six minutes at a press conference on Monday before the Spurs’ game against the Orlando Magic. “It just makes you sick to your stomach. How many times does it have to happen?” Popovich asked. “As sick to our stomachs that we might feel, that individual is dead. He’s dead. And his family is grieving. And his friends are grieving. And we just keep moving on as if nothing is happening.”

Popovich explained how he sees a connection between gun violence and police violence disproportionately affecting Black people, and that connection is the willingness to turn the other way and prioritize political loyalties. “We see what’s happening with policing and Black men and some other people of color. With the massacres of our children, it’s the same thing,” Popovich said. “It goes on and on, and everybody says, ‘When is it going to be enough?’ Of course, I don’t have those answers. But the people who continually fight to maintain that status quo are not good people.”

He listed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott by name, calling him “a liar” after the Republican governor claimed the left was trying to take guns away from the American people. “Do these people have grandchildren? Do they want their grandchildren to go to work and go to school and go through these drills and worry about being murdered?” Popovich asked. “What does it take? They care more about them than your freaking power and your position and your donors. With policing, it’s the same damn way. How many young Black kids have to be killed for no freaking reason? How many so that we can empower the police units? We need to find out who funds these people. I want to know what owners in the NBA fund these people who perpetrate these lies. Maybe that’s a good place to start so it’s all transparent.”

As of recently, the NBA has encouraged its players and coaches to be more vocal in the fight against racism, according to USA Today. Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, one of only eight Black head coaches in the NBA, discussed the outrage about cancel culture on Monday before a game against the Dallas Mavericks. “We keep hearing this cancel culture stuff, but we’re canceling Black lives. To me, that’s more important in my opinion,” Rivers said. “It just keeps happening. We keep making mistakes and killing Black people. I don’t want to get into race, but it’s there.”

Amber Guyger, the white ex-Dallas police officer convicted of murdering a 26-year-old accountant, said she mistook Botham Jean’s apartment for her own and shot him thinking he was an intruder. She was sentenced in 2019 to 10 years in prison, made eligible for parole in five years, and given credit for time served. Singer Sy Smith tweeted on Monday:

“’I thought it was my taser’

‘I thought it was my apartment’

‘I thought I saw him/her with a gun’

‘I thought he was selling loosies’

‘I thought she was there alone’

‘I thought she was gettin smart with me’

Their thinking = terrorism for us and I’m tired.”

Bernice King, activist and daughter of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., said on social media many people are asking the wrong questions. “If your response to the death of a 20 year-old Black man, who was pulled over by police for an air freshener violation, is ‘he should have complied,’ you don’t understand the fear that Daunte was likely feeling in his encounter with police 10 miles from the Derek Chauvin trial,” King tweeted.

She added in a follow-up tweet: “And you also don’t understand that your question should be, ‘How could the police have apprehended him without killing him?’ Because a badge shouldn’t be a license to kill.”

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Activist and Rev. Jacqui Lewis tweeted on Monday: “Not bothering to double-check whether you’re holding a tazer or a handgun is, itself, an indictment of how little our system values Black lives. It’s not the defense you think.” Lewis also called for an end to white supremacy in a series of tweets about the shooting. “Daunte’s lynching isn’t a mistake: It’s how the US has always treated Black communities,” she said. “Until we uproot this country’s foundational white supremacy, we’ll never stop racist violence.” She added in another tweet: “We can’t even finish trying one police officer before another murder. It’s not about ‘one bad apple.’ It’s about a culture of death and domination that must be dismantled.”

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Legendary musician Stevie Wonder shared similar thoughts in a thread on Twitter on Monday. “I remember an accidental police shooting in Minnesota four years ago,” he tweeted. “A Black police officer accidentally shot and killed a white woman. The police officer immediately stated it was an accident and apologized to the family.”

Wonder added: “He was tried and convicted of 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter. The judge refused any leniency and sentenced him to 12 1/2 years in prison. He was the first Minnesota police man to be convicted of an on duty shooting in recent years.”

The cop in the Grammy Award-winning musician’s example is Mohamed Noor and he was convicted of killing Justine Ruszczyk on July 15, 2017, according to The New York Times.

“Black police- white victim-justice was swift and stiff,” Stevie Wonder tweeted on Monday. “Another unintentional police shooting last night – White police and Black victim. What will justice serve this time? A police chief who had made a conclusion without discussing any facts? Will the police officer apologize?”

The musician added: “Will the judge ignore leniency? Will this Black victim and his family in Minnesota see swift and stiff punishment? Does this system need reform? Do the math.”

View more social media reactions to Wright’s death below:

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RELATED: I’m angry: A rant on being Black when being Black gets you dead

RELATED: Horrifying video shows police officer who killed Daunte Wright thought she was using her Taser

RELATED: Minnesota police shoot and kill Daunte Wright, 20, after traffic stop involving air fresheners





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