Sen. Tina Smith: ‘Traffic stops like this should not result in somebody’s death’

Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., responds to the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was killed by an officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Sunday.
6:33 | 04/13/21

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Transcript for Sen. Tina Smith: ‘Traffic stops like this should not result in somebody’s death’
We're joined now by democratic senator Tina Smith of Minnesota senator thanks so much for joining us tonight. I first like to get your reaction to the announcement by the local police chief that this appears to have been an accidental shooting. What did you make of the video released of this incident and of the explanation. Of how this traffic stop led to Donte' Wright's death. Well business that's another tragic example. A person cholera black person he engaging more law enforcement and ending. Death. It's a tragic. Aaron essence fatal error. We have to get to the bottom and -- steps so that this doesn't happen again you know in. In my eyes sting in Minneapolis we have about 40%. A beach community as people of color. Yes they are strong import presents. Those that. I near the pleased owners accept the use of force. A traffic. Stops like this should not results in somebody's death and it is its track. And as you know the shooting sparked a night of unrest with police deploying tear gas as they cleared protesters from the streets. A curfew is now in effect for the Twin Cities in metro area tonight. What's your message to residents of Minnesota who are furious about this happening again another shooting death of an unarmed black man by police. Well I'm scared to share ever when's theory everyone's anger and I believe so strongly the end I'm peaceful demonstrations and voices hurts and it actually didn't bark but the state and that the federal outreach. To change the policy so that this kind of thing doesn't happen again. Everybody regardless of who you are should be safe and feel safe in you and your neighbor but in your community into that is not the case that you are. You indigenous person of color. We also cannot. Violence and an eye on vandalism and that is I'm damaging. Sadly off and show those businesses. That are often only by people of color in the community whether it's in Brooklyn center. Where dodged right I was killed. Or wherever it is art community. Earlier today he treated that Dante Wright was killed yesterday by law enforcement we must act for accountability for equity to address the deep rooted racism in our criminal justice system we've heard you say. Twice tonight that we have to make sure this doesn't happen again but we've heard calls for action for the past year. And there's very little progress in congress on police reform efforts the White House did say today that it will focus on the passage of the George Floyd justice and policing act. So what is there that realistic prospects of this bill moving forward in getting passed by the senate. Well I'm originals sponsor that George Bush justice and policing act and it's. Assess the important limits on excessive use of force and they must. Dangerous practices law enforcement and also makes it easier to a whole lot of course front powerball. And it needs to get patents I and I am so frustrated. That we can't even bring this piece of legislation on the floor of the senate and the threat to the filibuster my colleagues so. Safety he answered in situations like that there's always a reason why something that's now we aren't. The responsibility. As policy makers to take action to get a change that we needed so that. Policing is not so dangerous. To black and brown people you know. Minnesota and places all of this country. People who are black or feel O armed police at under protective. And we see it again a tragedy like has unfolded. Cord Don you're right and his family I think about my. Experience and the tragedy that apple fall and could steal and Minnesota another black man who was tried and you was stopped in traffic. And a traffic stop and ended up losing his life and I I'm thinking about Anna's mother Valerie Steele on all of the mothers who have lost children. Because of the systemic. And equities are pleased and system. Hey you know their of course in Minneapolis. Which is that just a few miles away from where this happens. There's been an overhaul really already of the police system and yet this is happen again I'm not sure those changes that were also in effect there but do you feel that of the local level are still needs to be. More done with regard to policing and not just rely on on congress. That's right there aren't big needs to make change the local level and cities like Brooklyn center in Minneapolis there's art decent. Warm leadership needed at the state where many of my former colleagues in the state legislature on the Democrats are working part to get those changes. You know one of the things that we could you at a federal level is to support local in addition. She may kind of new models for police and I don't let just FISA legislation that would help communities like Brooklyn center. As a dancer those allegations. And for example. Do a better idea escalation in situations they're potentially dangerous. For example look at ways that you are. But it stops involve the law enforcement that are unarmed there are many examples and nation are in the local and I didn't help. A story that mitigation doesn't models and can I don't do. And this of course is not happening in a vacuum but as the trial of Derek show than from the death of George Floyd is under way just a few miles away any concern for you about the looming verdict in that trial coming as a community is now on edge. Over the shooting of Dante Iraq. What exactly is in the midst of this new tragedy my community is real living in a try the murder George. I'm hoping that this time it will be different and those that were responsible for our old home. That a dirt orange trial has riveted the community and it is also. Reminded us that's me. In the tragic death of George Boyd he started a movement for change and policing and law enforcement. To carry forwards. And we we cannot afford the loss of life that we see. Just too many times including again in my community. Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota we thank you so much for your time in topple with us tonight. Thank you so much.

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

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