Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) used her eulogy during Daunte Wright’s funeral on Thursday condemn Columbus Police for shooting Ma’Khia Bryant, which stopped Bryant from stabbing an unarmed girl, describing the act that saved the life of the unarmed girl as “a tragedy.”
“May Daunte Wright serve as a guardian for all of us,” Omar said. “But as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus — as one of the youngest and newest members of the Congressional Black Caucus — I also have guardians: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and our chairwoman, Joyce Beatty, serve as guardians for me and many of my colleagues.”
“Joyce Beatty was going to be here and speak on our behalf as the chairwoman of our caucus; but just like we’ve been visited by tragedy here in Minnesota often, she, in Columbus, Ohio, was visited by a tragedy of a young woman whose life was taken by Columbus Police.”
On Tuesday, Columbus police were forced to shoot Ma’Khia Bryant to prevent her from stabbing an unarmed girl. Video of the incident appears to show Ma’Khia Bryant yell “I’ma stab the f— out you, b—-,” clearing up any confusion about her intentions, then attempting to stab the unarmed girl when the officer opened fire, presumably saving the life of the unarmed girl.
“We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” Columbus Mayor Andrew explained after the police department released bodycam footage. “We think it’s critically important to share as much information as possible. We’ll continue to share footage and other information as quickly as possible.”
Omar’s comments were made at the funeral of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old killed on April 11th when he resisted arrest. During a traffic stop, officers attempted to arrest Wright after learning he had an open arrest warrant out “after failing to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.”
Wright was not allowed to possess a gun as a condition of his bail release from a December 2019 case in which he was accused of choking and attempted armed robbery of a woman. In June 2020, he was arrested for missing a court appearance and physically fleeing from police while he was armed.
Bodycam footage showed the incident unfold. As an officer attempted to handcuff him, Wright pried himself loose and jumped back in his car to flee. Former police officer Kim Potter, who has now been charged with second-degree manslaughter, yelled “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” and then pulled out her gun and shot Wright once, allegedly mistaking the gun for her taser.
According to the Washington County Attorney’s Office, “At 2:01:55, [officer Kim] Potter said she would tase Wright. She pulled her Glock 9mm handgun with her right hand and pointed it at Wright, saying again that she would tase him. At 2:02, Potter said ‘Taser, Taser, Taser,’ and pulled the trigger on her handgun at 2:02:01, firing one round into the left side of the victim.”
“Wright immediately said, ‘ah, he shot me,’ and the car sped away for a short distance before crashing into another vehicle and stopping. An ambulance was called and Wright was pronounced dead at the scene,” they continued. “After firing her gun, Potter said ‘Sh–, I just shot him!’”
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