Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama voiced Tuesday their support to “reimagine policing” in American communities in reaction to the latest police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota.
“Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,” the Obamas said in a statement, describing the shooting as proof of “just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country.”
Wright was shot and killed Sunday by a Brooklyn Center police officer after he resisted arrest after a traffic stop. The police chief published body camera footage of the incident on Monday, arguing that a veteran police officer accidentally drew her gun instead of a Taser to subdue Wright.
“Michelle and I grieve alongside the Wright family for their loss,” Obama said. “We empathize with the pain that Black mothers, fathers, and children are feeling after yet another senseless tragedy.”
The Obamas acknowledged the shooting took place during the trial for the “heart-wrenching” murder of George Floyd and called for a full investigation.
“[W]e will continue to work with all fair-minded Americans to confront historical inequities and bring about nationwide changes that are so long overdue,” they said.
Barack Obama also voiced support for reimagining policing in June 2020 in reaction to the protests after the death of George Floyd.
He said the shooting incidents were the result of structural problems in the United States.
“[T]hey’re the result of a long history of slavery and Jim Crow and red lining and institutionalized racism that too often have been the plague, the original sin of our society,” he said during an online conversation on the issue.
NEW: Former Pres. Obama on fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright: "Michelle and I grieve alongside the Wright family for their loss. We empathize with the pain that Black mothers, fathers, and children are feeling after yet another senseless tragedy." https://t.co/peZvNUVKik pic.twitter.com/uqt8nya9PM
— ABC News (@ABC) April 13, 2021