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UNPROVOKED ASSAULT OF LT. NAZARIO AND NEEDLESS DEATH OF DAUNTE WRIGHT THROW YET MORE LIGHT ON AN ALREADY-GLARING NEED FOR POLICE REFORM

NEW YORK (April 13, 2021) – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement in response to the killing of Daunte Wright and the assault of Army Lt. Caron Nazario by police in Minnesota and Virginia:

“Over the last few days, the nation once again watched a young Black man, pulled over by police in what appears to be a pretextual stop, shot to death by officers incapable of or unwilling to de-escalate the encounter.   

“We watched officers cruelly taunt and needlessly assault a Black Army Medical Corps lieutenant with pepper spray after another apparently pretextual traffic stop.

“Our hearts are with the family of Daunte Wright, taken at just 20 years old, by an officer so poorly-trained and so eager to use excessive force that she allegedly mistook a gun for a taser.

 “Our sympathy and support goes out to Lt. Caron Nazario who was pelted with death threats and conflicting demands before his unwarranted and unprovoked assault. 

“These tragic incidents have occurred or come to light even as the trial of Derek Chauvin has swept aside the illusion of justification for the use of force in cases like these.  Witness after witness has testified that George Floyd posed no threat to the officers and that Derek Chauvin continued using deadly force long after even the possibility of a threat had passed. Video of Daunte Wright’s fatal shooting and Lt. Nazario’s vicious assault make it clear that neither of them posed a threat to the officers who attacked them.

“Also swept aside is any excuse for the Senate’s delay in passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.  Each day that goes by without accountability for police misconduct is a black mark against a nation shamefully willing to tolerate the unjustified killing and assault of Black and Brown men and women.”