Bakersfield pastors say the Daunte Wright murder affects all black communities

Posted at 5:39 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 21:39:58-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Minneapolis has seen two high-profile killings involving black men and police over the last year.

23ABC is we're taking a closer look at Daunte Wright's death and the impacts it is having on the conversation about race and policing.

The police department says that the shooting was accidental, and potter thought she was using her taser.

Since Sunday, Potter has resigned and protests have filled the streets in Minneapolis once again.

Even though that shooting took place more than a thousand miles away, local leaders in Bakersfield held a meeting Wednesday to discuss the shooting death of Daunte Wright, and how they want to respond to the matter, here locally.

23ABC spoke to a pair of local pastors who work very closely with the Bakersfield Police Department, they say they are planning a vigil for Daunte Wright, as we wait to learn more details about the deadly shooting.

"Why must this happen in America?" asked Pastor Joe Jordan.

It's a question local pastors Joe Jordan and Gregory Tatum say they’ve asked way too often.

The most recent time is following Sunday's deadly encounter in Minneapolis between a Brooklyn Center police officer and 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.

Officials say officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran with the force, mistakenly fired her gun instead of her taser, killing Wright.

"Now I guess the question is whether or not it was an accident, and if it was an accident, what should her penalty be?" asked Jordan.

Potter, who has since resigned, was arrested and charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter.

Tatum says the incident impacts all black communities, and the familiar heartache has become common.

"We as African American people almost become desensitized to hearing it so much, it's almost commonplace."

Tatum and Jordan are planning a local vigil for Wright, following three days of protesting in Brooklyn Center Minnesota.

"In terms of trying to pray for the community and pray for peace, peace meaning that we don't condone the rioting, the looting, but we do want our voices to be heard."

A specific date and location for that vigil haven't been decided yet, but both pastors are working with the police department to put this vigil together because they say the incident involving Wright impacts the entire community.