LatestNewsReckless Driving, Child Endangerment Goes Without Consequence

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, a protest was held outside the courtroom holding the trial for Kim Potter, the veteran cop of Brooklyn Center that shot and killed, at the time, 21 year old Daunte Wright, this past April–claiming she thought she’d grab her taser despite working as a cop since 1997.

Moments before the march began a man drove his car past a barricade, down the road through a group of protesters who managed to escape without physical harm. This became a political conversation as many people under the comments of the video and in regards to the driver have expressed how the protesters are the “aggressors,” without acknowledging the events similar to this one that caused great physical and emotional harm. 

During a George Floyd protest in May 2020, a very large moving truck plowed through a protest of hundreds on the 35W highway in wake of the death of George Floyd. Despite the injuries caused, the driver was dropped of charges as long as he stayed out of vehicular trouble for a year. 

Another event was this year in June, during a peaceful demonstration for Winston Smith, who was shot and killed by law enforcement June 3rd. Deona Marie, 31, despite parking her car to protect protesters, was hit while on the sidewalk by a man driving through the protest at high miles and intoxicated, which resulted in Deona Marie’s death. 

The Twin Cities are not huge like NYC or Los Angeles. A lot of the protesters that showed up to the two former events I mentioned are likely showing up to demonstrations for Daunte Wright, and will likely show up to upcoming protests as well. Meaning this replicated act of vehicular intimidation that resulted in the harm of others in the past was likely traumatic to experience again given past circumstances. And to an extent that those who haven’t experienced such a thing cannot understand.

One thing that struck me as an observer wasn’t necessarily the driver, but the emotional response to the driver. People expressed panic, terror, shock. It was clearly a communal trauma response. But then, there was the news issue that went out about there being no consequences of the driver, claiming he “wasn’t committing a crime” by driving through the area. So, what example are we setting for people when it comes to respecting the grieving and processing of people of color? When will laws, given the understanding of systemic oppression, cease to come before the cries of the people? 

Police are not working to track down the driver because the protesters did not have a permit to block off the street and thus the driver was not committing a crime by entering the area, – MPD Officer Garrett Parten.

How can we expect Residents of Minneapolis to move forward feeling safe and trusting in a public safety system that does’t protect them? Furthermore, that dismisses violent acts and fails to hold people accountable when their actions are harmful toward Black and Brown bodies.

 

 

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