Minnesota senator addresses Daunte Wright shooting

Tina Smith talks about the Wright shooting, the Chauvin trial and the ongoing violence and policing issue in the U.S.
5:49 | 04/13/21

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Transcript for Minnesota senator addresses Daunte Wright shooting
Sunday's shoot death of daunte Wright at the hands of police in Brooklyn center, Minnesota, has sparked an outpouring of anger across the country. Ten miles from the trial of Derek chauvin who's facing murder charges for the death of George Floyd. Let's bring in the U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Tina Smith, welcome, senator Smith, we appreciate your time today. We heard from the city's police chief saying that this was an accidental discharge, the officer in question meant to use her taser. I'm curious what you think the consequences should be. I think you're right, a lot of people are asking, how could that happen the reality that this was a fatal error and the family and people who loved daunte Wright don't have them anymore. The big picture here is that we have an epidemic of black people dying at the hands of law enforcement in Minnesota and around the country and we cannot stand for that. Everybody should be safe in -- feel safe and be safe in their homes and in their neighborhoods and in their communities and that's not the case for too many black people who see a traffic stop like what was faced by daunte Wright ending up in the loss of life, it's completely unacceptable. Senator, you mentioned there a fatal error and talked about a fatal mistake, is that what you see it as and an outlier or separate type of incident from many of the incidents we've seen of black people dying at the hands of police? Specifically we know that there have been other examples, other experiences of loved oning losing their life. The systemic problem is why is that in Brooklyn center, a wonderful community since 2012, six people have been killed by police, five of them were men of color, why is it that systemically in this country, interactions with law enforcement for black people are more often a source of fear and even harm than they are protection. In this country, black people tell us over and over again that they feel underprotected by law enforcement and overpoliced and that's a systemic challenge that we have to resolve in this country at the federal level it's why I pushed so mar for the George Floyd justice in policing act. Help local communities like Brooklyn center to move forward with real innovations and public safety that will truly keep everyone safe. Senator, you just mentioned some of the laws or certainly some of the changes that you'd like to see at federal level, but what more can be done at this point to stop as you put this, epidemic of black people dying at the hands of law enforcement. There's a systemic problem in policing that we need to resolve and that's what the justice in policing act, the George Floyd justice in policing act would do, it will ban some of the excessive use of force that we see in law enforcement and provide much more accountability so we can make it easier to hold law enforcement accountable when they use excessive force, there are also great examples at the local level what communities are doing to change the way the they think about policing and more about protection and I'd like to be able to see those new models for policing get support and help and that's what my bill would do, we can't say in this moment that there's nothing that we can do, this is something that we have to leave with this is a unique problem that we have in this country that we've got to see and address and resolve. We're talking a lot about policing but what can you do -- your state in particular, Minneapolis area, has been called in some circles one of the worst places in the country for blacks when it comes disparities in income, home ownership, poverty, so this has been bubbling up for years and years and years, so how do you address that not just with a bill on policing, what do you do to help your home state get past what is like the naacp president there called it the Jim crow of the north, what do you do about that? Well, you're sadly correct that Minnesota has some of the worst disparities in home ownership and wage gaps and wealth gaps that we see any place in the country, the first thing that we have to all do is to see that in Minnesota and of course this is not just a Minnesota problem, we have to understand that there systems, for example, in housing, and home ownership that hold people of color back and make it almost impossible to build the wealth and the opportunity that white communities and white families have, we know what to do here, we have to muster the will to make it happen in my home state of Minnesota and owl over this All right, senator Smith, I know we'll see you down the road and we'll be talking about these issues probably down the road because they're not going away any time soon. Our hearts go out to your state and particularly that area around Minneapolis that's in pain right now. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. All right just ahead right here on "Gma3," busy life turned

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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