Family and friends of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man shot dead by a Minnesota police officer on April 11, gathered in Minneapolis on Thursday for his funeral.
Wright, who leaves behind a 2-year-old son, was shot and killed by a Brooklyn Center police officer during an afternoon traffic stop.
'Entire young life ahead of him'
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar presented Katie and Aubrey Wright with a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in their son's honor.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz presented the Wrights with a proclamation he issued, ordering two minutes of silence across the state when the funeral began.
Daunte Wright "had his entire young life ahead of him," the governor said. "We know that this tragedy is connected to the deep and systemic racism in our society that Black people in Minnesota and across the country face every single day."
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar added, "Racism in this country is not isolated. It is systemic. And so when we ask ourselves, why Daunte Jr. [Daunte Wright’s 2-year-old son] has to grow up without a dad, when we think about what could possibly fill this hole that Daunte left in the world, we come up empty.”
"We must do more," Klobuchar said. "It is time for Washington, D.C., to move forward on police reform."
"We must pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act," she said, which was met with applause.
Rev. Sharpton gives eulogy
Rev. Al Sharpton in his eulogy noted how Daunte Wright’s mother, who is white, and father, who is Black, "raised him in an interracial home." "They defied the color barriers," he said, and "raised children to not hate nobody."
Sharpton said, "I don’t care how much settlement they [Wright’s family] may be given -- you can never fill the hole in their heart that was caused for no reason."
"The time has come for America to stand up and bring a new day -- to where we don’t have to explain to our children what to do when the police stop you," Sharpton said. "It's time to bring a new day where we don’t have to videotape when we see a badge, but where we know that that badge will serve and protect -- not treat us like we've been convicted. The time has come for police to understand they're not above the law."
Wright’s death will "change the laws of the land," Sharpton said, and children not born yet will "know his name."
'My son should be burying me'
Daunte Wright's mother Katie Wright was overcome with emotion as she spoke at the funeral.
"My son should be burying me," she said.
"My son had a smile that was worth a million dollars," she said. "When he walked in the room he lit up the room. … He was loved by so many."
Daunte Wright's baby son was born prematurely, she said.
The "joy" his son brought to his life was "truly amazing," Katie Wright recalled. "He was so happy and so proud and he always said he couldn’t wait to make his son proud."
"He lived for him every single day and now he’s not gonna be able to see him."
Crump: 'Justice for Daunte Wright'
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump led the mourners in a chant of: "Daunte Wright’s life mattered."
"Justice for Daunte Wright," he said.
"Our heart is broken with yours as we come to lay him to rest," Crump said to his parents. "But most importantly we celebrate his life and we define his legacy."
"As we make the plea for justice in the court of public opinion that we pray [Minnesota] Attorney General Keith Ellison will allow us to get full justice in the court of law," he said.
Emmett Till’s family, Oscar Grant’s family and Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend came to the funeral to show their support, along with George Floyd’s family, Crump said.
Till, a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago, was killed in Mississippi in 1955. Till was kidnapped, beaten and lynched after he was accused of whistling at a white woman. Two white men went on trial for his killing and were acquitted by an all-white jury.
Grant, a 22-year-old Black man, was shot dead by a transit officer at a California train station in 2009. The officer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot dead by police in her Louisville home as officers tried to execute a search warrant. No officers have been charged in connection to her death.
Before Crump spoke, an artist came to the podium and painted a portrait of Wright in realtime. When he was done, he was praised with a standing ovation.