US Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday denounced police violence, speaking at the scene of Daunte Wright’s police shooting death in Minnesota to demand “transformational change.”
“Our communities are tired and exhausted, really, at this repeated offense and assault that continues to happen,” Omar (D-Minn.) said in Brooklyn Center, where 20-year-old Wright was killed during a botched traffic stop on April 11.
“Where we continue to find ourselves in a state of mourning, in a state of exhaustion, in a state of trauma, and constantly seeing so much pain unearthed every single day,” she said.
The congresswoman — a member of the left-wing “Squad” on Capitol Hill — spoke at the intersection where now-former Police Officer Kimberly Potter fired a single, fatal shot after mistakenly grabbing her gun instead of her Taser, according to authorities.
The shooting sparked a new round of protests — as a jury deliberates the fate of former cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd in neighboring Minneapolis.
“I know that we’ve been asking for accountability, we’ve been asking for transparency,” Omar said. “We’ve been asking for transformational change.”
“And I know to me that Black Lives Matter is not a hashtag and should never be just a hashtag,” she said. “When we think about the police state, the police system, and we think about all of the systems of injustice that exist in this country, they are systems that have been created by men and they are codified by law.”
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott, who also spoke at Tuesday’s press conference, has denounced the looting that followed Wright’s death but has teamed with lawmakers to push police reforms in the city — including banning tear gas and rubber bullets.
“I’ve gotten some time to spend with Daunte [Jr.] and his family, and every time I’m in touch with them, I am just reminded just how much love exists in this family — even in this tragedy,” the mayor said.
Wright’s funeral is scheduled to take place on Thursday.