On April 11, 2021, Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man,was fatally shot in the chest by police officer Kimberly Potter during a traffic stop. Authorities said that Potter meant to use her taser, but accidentally used her gun instead.
Two days later, Potter and Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon resigned from their positions. Potter was convicted of first-degree and second degree manslaughter on December 23, 2021, at a jury trial of her peers. On February 18, 2022, she was sentenced to two years in prison, with credit for time served. Directed to serve two-thirds time in prison and one-third on house arrest. Once again, justice for a family was denied. The system fails our community again.
Today, we witnessed once again a broken Justice System fail to provide justice for its citizens, namely Daunte Wright and his family. Without justice there can be no peace.
To our Augsburg Community, today we name the sadness and trauma of the sentencing. We name Daunte Wright. Amir Locke who was also recently killed by the police. Use what strength you have to take care of yourself, family and friends. Pay attention to your bodies for the trauma the verdict releases.Anger, frustration and disappointment are natural reactions to such a disservice to a community. Know that it is alright to not be alright. We are a people who deeply care, acknowledging this is who you are. Sometimes I can’t find the words. Today I offer this prayer for our beloved Augsburg University community from @blackliturgies
Some days our sadness feels too much to hold. It shackles us to our bed. It colonizes even our deepest joys. Would you hold it with us? Would you let our beds be our restoration and not our guilt? Keep us from speaking those secret words of self-hatred that demand that we carry our pain in some other way, that tells us to conquer sadness instead of feeling it. Help us to be weak. That holy weakness that doesn’t sneer at itself, but allows us to see that we are no less dignified because of our tears. Help us to be tender with ourselves, patient with those wounds which we can’t seem to put words to. Guide us toward communities that don’t force us to explain with sadness or coerce us into expressing it in any particular way on any particular timeline. And as we do our best to live, grant us the resolve to care for our bodies. To use what strength we have to make small steps toward loving our bodies and minds best we can.
Pastor Babette Chatman
University Pastor and Director of Campus Ministry