Who is Chyna Whitaker? Help pours in for girlfriend of slain Black youth Daunte Wright
Minnesota is back in the news and for the wrong reasons. The state, where George Floyd was brutally murdered under police custody in May last year, has seen yet another instance of a young Black man getting fatally shot by a police officer and the incident has given rise to similar scenes witnessed last year. Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the shooting of Daunte Wright, 20, on Sunday, April 11, night and displayed Black Lives Matter flags and a sign saying “Justice for George Floyd” while confronting the law-keepers in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. The police set off flash bangs and fired tear gas into the protesters who assembled outside the police station. National Guard personnel were also deployed just before midnight to tackle the situation. Brooklyn Center is about nine miles from Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin in the Floyd murder case is underway.
Daunte's girlfriend told his mother about him getting shot
Katie Wright, the mother of the deceased youth and father of a baby boy, told the media that officers from the Brooklyn Center Police Department shot her son after he was stopped in a traffic stop on Sunday afternoon. She said Daunte called her on her mobile after he was pulled over, apparently because the cops objected to the air fresheners in his vehicle and got out of his vehicle which his family gifted him recently. She said she heard someone on the phone asking Daunte not to run. She also said that she heard one of the officers asked his son to put the phone down and soon the call ended. Daunte’s girlfriend, Chyna Whitaker, who was also in the car, later told her that Daunte had been shot. Daunte got back into his car after getting hit and drove for a couple of blocks more where he crashed the vehicle into another and succumbed to his injuries. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
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“He got out of the car and his girlfriend said they shot him,” a tearful Katie said. “He got back in the car and he drove away and crashed and now he’s dead on the ground… Nobody will tell us anything. Nobody will talk to us… I said please take my son off the ground," she said while pleading for the removal of his dead son's body from the street.
this is so heartbreaking 💔 #DaunteWright #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/8xpq17UbPD— skye (@LOVE4HYUN1E) April 12, 2021
it should be enough to say that nobody should be killed for having air fresheners in their car. no one should be left dead on the street for six hours. but a black man, a 20 year old, a father, a person was unrightfully killed by the police in MN. #DaunteWright #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/LSwQNepFZZ— mags⁷🧨 missing bts (@hobiiicxre) April 12, 2021
The Brooklyn Center Police Department issued a statement in which it said “a female passenger in the vehicle sustained non-life threatening injuries during the crash” and was “transported to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale”. The police claimed that Wright had an “outstanding warrant” against his name. They said he went back to his vehicle as one of the officers tried to take him into custody and one officer “discharged their firearm” as a result, striking him. It also said the police in pursuit of the car and medical attendants tried life-saving measures but yet Wright died at the scene.
Press release from Brooklyn Center PD. pic.twitter.com/ufQWeDpKWz— Kim Hyatt (@kimvhyatt) April 12, 2021
A petition was also being signed seeking justice for Wright. The Change.org petition read: “20 year old man Daunte Wright was murdered by Minneapolis police. He was pulled over for having an air freshener obstructing the view of his rear view mirror. The officers refused to tell him why he got pulled over, so he got back in his car to drive away, and they shot him. The car traveled several blocks before crashing into another vehicle. He died at the scene of the crash. His body was left on the street for hours by the police. He was a father to a two year old. Help get Daunte Wright and his family justice.”
Help started pouring in thick and fast for the family of the ill-fated youth. Whitaker sought help for her baby in terms of diapers, wipes, clothes and shoes but people were also extending monetary help to the family through pay apps.
I've gotten in contact with the girlfriend of Daunte Wright and what her & their son need.— zedé m (@soulxhild) April 12, 2021
I will post her cash tag info and the list of their needs in this thread once I get her response. So far she has requested:
diapers, wipes, clothes & shoes for their son.
Info graphic here - pic.twitter.com/Wv9qSvDbCG— zedé m (@soulxhild) April 12, 2021
CBS Minnesota on Monday, April 12, quoted Whitaker as saying: “He just made you feel better when he came around, and I’m just hurt that he’s gone, and I can’t believe it. He loved his son, and it’s not fair that his son won’t have his dad in his life.”
“I can’t really believe that this happened, so like I’m still trying to like process it,” she added.