Daunte Wright: Minnesota cops slammed for flying 'Thin Blue Line' flag, Internet calls it 'declaration of war'
Twenty-year-old Daunte Wright was killed after being 'accidentally' shot by a Minnesota cop. But protests surrounding his killing isn't the only controversy the Brooklyn Center Police Department of Minnesota is facing. In the wake of Wright's death, people are also criticizing a 'Thin Blue Line' flag flying outside of the police department building.
Wright was shot and killed by cops on April 11 during a traffic stop and reportedly, it was an 'accident' as the cop in question, now identified as Kim Porter', allegedly shouted 'Taser!' at the time of arrest, but fired a gun instead. As protests began through the city, the police department whose member was responsible for the killing doesn't seem to be of help. The 'Thin Blue Line' flag is a black and white version of the American flag and has one blue stripe - the titular line, running along its middle. The flag is deemed by police as a symbol of solidarity and pride in their profession. Critics, however, have argued that the flag stands for a divide between the public and law enforcement. It is also seen as a symbol of white supremacy or support for the Blue Lives Matter cause. These flags were also waved by "extremists" at the "insurrection" at the US Capitol on January 6.
Who was Daunte Wright? Man, 20, shot dead by Brooklyn Center cops as he tried to get into car amid traffic stop
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It's still unclear when the flag was hoisted. But as soon as Star Tribune's Andy Mannix shared a clip of the flag outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department made it to Twitter, social media erupted as people came down hard on the police department. One user dubbed the flag as a “declaration of war”. Another journalist wrote: “No shame. The opposite in fact. Pride, while standing over a 20-year-old human being murdered by their hand.” Others noted "If that precinct gets burned down like the 3rd, they invited it on themselves," with another person claiming "Agreed. They are provoking the community."
Some labeled this "What a slap in the face". Others explained "The 'thin blue line' flag represents how cops think society will collapse if they don't stick together. Aka cops shouldn't snitch on each other. Their response to murdering is to fly this flag because they care more about loyalty to their gang than the lives they take." Although there's no certainty on when the flag was hoisted, the Daily Dot notes that Google Maps photos from 2019 still show a dark-colored flag below the American flag outside of the station. The outlet notes that while "it does not appear, as some have suggested, that the flag was put up by police in the aftermath of the shooting. Mannix, however, updated on April 12 that the "Flag was removed at some point this afternoon".
Flag was removed at some point this afternoon— Andy Mannix (@AndrewMannix) April 13, 2021
That’s a declaration of war.— David Schor (Biden=#BlueTrump) 💚 (@davidschor) April 12, 2021
No shame. The opposite in fact. Pride, while standing over a 20-year-old human being murdered by their hand. https://t.co/JCUYdeDwC6— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) April 12, 2021
Agreed. They are provoking the community.— 🛼 Komrad Iron 🛼#Fe-26🛼 🛼 🛼 (@Komrad_Iron) April 12, 2021
Wright, a father-of-one, was allegedly trying to get inside his car when the shooting happened. Brooklyn Center police stopped a car for a “traffic violation” in the 6300 block of Orchard Avenue shortly before 2 pm Sunday, April 11, according to a news release issued by the Brooklyn Center Police Department. The news release stated that the officers found the driver had an outstanding warrant and so they attempted to take the man into custody outside the vehicle.
“At one point as officers were attempting to take the driver into custody, the driver re-entered the vehicle. One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver. The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle. Officers in pursuit and responding medical personnel attempted life-saving measures, but the person died at the scene,” the cops' official press release detailing the incident said.