Rep. Rashida Tlaib condemns Daunte Wright shooting as ‘government-funded murder,’ wants police abolishedApril 13, 2021
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Members of the “Squad” are ramping up calls for dismantling the police following the shooting death of a 20-year-old black man at the hands of a white officer in Minnesota — saying it amounts to “government-funded murder.”
In tweets Monday, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) reacted to the killing Sunday of Daunte Wright of Brooklyn Center, Minn.
“It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence,” Tlaib wrote in a tweet.
“I am done with those who condone government-funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed,” she continued, reiterating her position that the police, as currently trained, cannot protect their communities and must be defunded and replaced.
“We are sick and heartbroken. In the closing days of Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, Brooklyn Center police killed 20 year old Daunte Wright, another Black man, during a traffic stop,” Omar’s tweet began, referencing the white officer facing trial for killing George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose death last year sparked a summer of racial justice protests — and calls to defund the police.
“This violence is a basic part of police interactions with communities of color,” she continued. “It must stop.”
Pressley, meanwhile, kept her message short, writing, “From slave patrols to traffic stops. We can’t reform this.”
All three lawmakers have previously voiced their support for defunding the police.
Wright was fatally shot by a Brooklyn Center cop, identified as 25-year veteran Kimberly Potter, during a traffic stop Sunday.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said the officer had intended to deploy a Taser as the man struggled with police but fired a handgun instead.
The death heightened tensions in an already emotionally fraught state, which is awaiting an outcome in the trial of Chauvin, who is accused of murdering Floyd when he held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost 10 minutes.
But while “Squad” lawmakers have maintained their support for defunding the police, top leaders in their party, including progressives, have not.
After former President Barack Obama knocked the effort as a “snappy slogan” in December, all four “Squad” members, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), slammed his position.
President Biden, meanwhile, has maintained his support for an increase in funding for police.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a major leader in the progressive movement, does not support defunding the police either.
The leading progressive pol, like Biden, says he backs more funding, not less, for law enforcement.
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