Racial abuse and crime series

We have heard many stories of racial abuse and the deaths of blacks in the US. They are a continuous reminder that we have a long way to go before ensuring equity and justice in the country. Let us look at some of the infamous cases of crime against blacks in recent times.

This time we look at the case of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man.

Daunte Wright 2021

Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was killed by police officer Kimberly Potter during a 2021 traffic stop near Minneapolis. After being pulled over for having expired tags and for a hanging air freshener, he was shot by Mrs. Potter when allegedly tried to break free and re-enter his car. The family has rejected that explanation, Mrs. Potter had to resign from the police, and was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Defence argument and conviction

She claimed that she shot Daunte Wright after mistaking her gun for a Taser when he tried to break free and re-enter his car. But Mrs. Potter was convicted of two counts of manslaughter in the killing of Mr. Wright. She was sentenced to a two-year jail term.

She walks out of jail on April 24, 2023

Former Minnesota officer Kimberly Potter was released from prison after serving 16 months of a two-year sentence.

Potter will be on supervised release for the remaining third of her sentence which expires in December.

Abuse of law

Civil rights advocates say laws against hanging objects from rearview mirrors have been used as a pretext for stopping Black motorists. New York Times reports – “The air fresheners that dangle from rearview mirrors have been a ubiquitous accessory in cars for decades. But they may be treated as illegal in a majority of states, which have laws prohibiting objects near the windshield that can obstruct motorists’ views. They are part of a suite of low-level offenses, such as tinted windows or broken taillights, that civil rights advocates complain have become common pretexts for traffic stops that too often selectively target people of color.”

The same article in NY Times also writes – “Racial bias in traffic stops has been a focus of researchers and civil rights advocates for years. At Stanford University’s Open Policing Project, researchers analyzing more than 100 million traffic stops around the country found persistent racial disparities, with Black drivers more likely to be stopped and both Black and Hispanic drivers more likely to be searched. The researchers found that officers needed less suspicion to decide to search Black and Hispanic drivers.”

Broken promises by the city

The city of Brooklyn Center agreed to pay a $3.25 million settlement to the family of Daunte Wright in June 2022. The Wright family said the payment still has not been distributed due to other unrelated legal disputes but they are “hopeful” to receive payment in the next 90 days. The city’s newly elected mayor, April Graves, confirmed that training still hasn’t happened, though, she says, it’s in the works. Read the CNN report here.

Are you a victim of racism?

If you are a victim of racism, contact the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC to get the justice you deserve. You may bring civil and criminal cases.

For years, attorney Joel Silberman served as an Assistant Prosecutor with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. During this time, Attorney Joel litigated hundreds of cases and appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division on multiple occasions.

Contact the Law Offices of Joel Silberman

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