FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rick Fuentes
April 13, 2021 (St. Paul) –
“On April 11, 2021, while running an errand, 20-year old Daunte Wright was killed by an officer of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. The Twin Cities have lost another young Black man, a two-year-old son has lost his father, and a mother and her family are grieving the loss of another innocent life. MNA joins the world in mourning and grieving another life lost to police brutality, and we extend our condolences to the family of Daunte Wright.
As nurses, we know Daunte Wright should be alive today. His life and all Black lives matter. This the basic tenet of nursing practice and health care, and it has again been violated. Our communities, already reeling from the trial of Derek Chauvin, continue to be pummeled by systemic racism that has shown no mercy or remorse. We recognize that the harm suffered by Black, Brown and Indigenous communities of color at the hands of racist police is emboldened by a broader culture of white supremacy. This culture plagues not only our police force, but all areas of our society, from our educational and healthcare institutions, to wealth disparities and governmental institutions. This is a public health crisis as much as it is a crisis of policing in our country.
The government’s decision to respond to protests of this latest police killing with militarized force will only exacerbate the trauma we are seeing in our patients, students, and loved ones. We cannot wait for policies that emphasize reform at the expense of another life lost. The public health crisis of racism requires a holistic response that attends to the needs and demands of society’s systematically oppressed.
As a labor union, we believe in the fundamental right of all people to live a life of dignity, respect, and justice. That is the world we must win, and to do so requires that we confront racism head-on, in our workplaces, in the justice system, and on the streets. It deserves the same amount of care and attention we would devote to any other public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past few years, we’ve seen the tragic killings of Philando Castile, Justine Diamond, Jamar Clark, George Floyd, and now Daunte Wright. All could have been avoided.
As Registered Nurses, we recognize that a society where Black and Brown lives are not valued erodes the collective well-being of our communities. As we have seen with systemic racist policies causing the loss of lives of people of color during the COVID-19 pandemic, we see systemic racism again surfacing with the loss of Black lives in policing. We have a responsibility in improving the general welfare of our communities and we must advocate and support when injustice takes place and stand in solidarity with other workers fighting for justice.
We call upon our members, labor allies, and community partners to stand together and demand justice and support the community in their grieving as they process the loss of Daunte Wright.
MNA encourages and urges all members to respect the privacy and wishes of the family.”