Apr 22, 2021
Daunte Wright Funeral Service Transcript: Rev. Al Sharpton, Ben Crump, Amy Klobuchar
Daunte Wright’s funeral service took place on April 22, 2021. Read the transcript of remarks from the Rev. Al Sharpton, Ben Crump, Ilhan Omar, Amy Klobuchar, Tim Walz, and others.
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Speaker 1: (00:28)
Come on, give it up for him. I told you y’all was in for a treat. Hallelujah. My my. Thank you, Brother Hilts, and Brother Harrold. Hallelujah. My my. At this time, you’re going to hear a plea for justice, none other than the attorney that Reverend Sharptonn has coined the general attorney for black folks, that’s none other than the one and only Benjamin Crump. Let’s give it up for our attorney. He will come and give us a brief of justice, and then bring up the family for reflections.
Benjamin Crump: (01:43)
Justice for Daunte Wright. Daunte Wright life mattered. Before I give the plea for justice, let me have you join me in proclaiming that Daunte Wright life mattered, so his mother, Katie, and Aubrey Wright, will know that we believe it when we quote it. Up on your feet, if you would. Daunte Wright life mattered. Daunte Wright life mattered. Katie, Aubrey, our heart is broken with yours as we come to lay him to rest. But most importantly, we celebrate his life and we define his legacy. Once more. Daunte Wright life mattered. Thank you.
Benjamin Crump: (03:28)
Now, Reverend Al is going to deliver the eulogy as only my mentor can, but I want to acknowledge for you, in this plea for justice, along with my distinguished co-counsels, Attorney Antonio Ramenucci, and Attorney Jeff Storms, and Attorney Carol Powell Lexing, we want to acknowledge the fact that, as we make the plea for justice in the court of public opinion, that we pray Attorney General Keith Ellison will allow us to get for justice in the court of law. Yes. Attorney General Keith Ellison. My brother. And maybe that’s appropriate, Reverend Drumwright, before I make this plea, Attorney General Keith Ellison worked in tandem with our civil rights legal team. The activists. We have acknowledged the role that the activists play, the freedom fighters on the front line, because as Dr. King said, we all have a role to play in this struggle for equality and justice. Rail played his role. The activists played their role, based on the constitution of the seventh amendment, the civil rights lawyers played their role. And my God, based on the 10th amendment, Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team of prosecutors played their role to get criminal culpability for the death of George Perry Floyd, who family is present here.
Benjamin Crump: (05:50)
If you all would stand, George Floyd’s family. Step out front for a second. George Floyd family, step out front for a second, just for a second. Minneapolis, thank you for not letting the legacy of George Floyd end with that video we saw taken by Darnella, on May 25th, 2020, but Governor Walz had end with a precedent that we all can follow, that marginalized minorities, especially black people, have a right to get full justice, not just partial justice. And the last thing I will say about this Floyd family, aside from Reverend Al, and [inaudible 00:07:04] Network, they have become the comforters and counselors, along with our legal team, for the family of Daunte Wright.
Benjamin Crump: (07:24)
You see, Marielle, this is so profound that, just this time last year, Mira Fry, just this time last year, Reverend, you remember, this time last year, they were being introduced to the world because they became part of a fraternity that no family wants to be a part of. Congresswoman Omar, they evolved right before our eyes, and now they have not considered it robbery to walk hand in hand with the family of Daunte Wright, until they can get a measure of justice. So we salute you, George Floyd, and the legacy of George Floyd, as we stand together to make sure that President Biden knows we are all going to walk together to get the George Floyd justice and police and accountability act made into law that will live forever for our children and our children’s children, and children yet unborn. Thank you, George Floyd. Thank you George Floyd’s family. God bless you all.
Benjamin Crump: (08:47)
And sometimes, your heart get to you. They don’t mean to be this long, that young man who played the trumpet presentation for you all is the Grammy Award-winning Jazz Artist Keyon Harrold. Keyon, please stand. Just come here for a second, Keyon. Because they’re making the plea for justice, the one thing that the legacy of Daunte Wright will stand for is this proposition that, on that video, we did not see the police officer deescalate. And deescalation is a behavior that is intended to prevent the escalation of conflicts. So Katie and Aubrey, what we saw on the video of Officer Potter, of this 26-year veteran, was not a exercise in deescalation. I would submit to you, my co-counsels, that it was an exercise in escalation. But if you want to see a exercise in deescalation, I have the honor of representing this man who most of you came to know, because his 14-year old son was falsely accused by a white woman of stealing her iPhone in the Arlo Hotel after the Christmas holiday, and this black man, Tamika, this black man, my son, show the world how you deescalate a situation. That is who Keyon Harrold is, a strong black father, willing to protect his child, not with physical assault and battery, but with intellect and diplomacy. That’s what Daunte Wright needed. That’s what Officer Potter should have exhibited. She should have been like Keyon Harrold.
Benjamin Crump: (11:31)
So I say to you, as we acknowledge the families of Emmett Till who are present here with us. And the family of Oscar Grant, if they would stand, because such similarities, you remember Oscar’s case, the police officer said they were reaching for a taser. 12 years ago. I think about George Floyd tragedy, and I read, Reverend Al, they said, what is the difference, 30 years later, between Rodney King, that we saw on video get brutalized and dehumanized, and tortured by the police, and George Floyd, who we saw on video get brutalized and dehumanized and tortured by the police. And the answer was very quite simple. It was the quality of technology has gotten better, but the excessive use of force remained the same.
Benjamin Crump: (13:05)
When you think about deescalation, it’s based on behavior, it’s based on your behavior, your behavior of a situation many times is based on your perspective, how you see a thing. I’m reminded, Senator Kobe Shard, of Ava DuVernay’s How They See Us. The legacy in the court of jurisprudence will be, how did Officer Potter see Daunte Wright. But more importantly, how does America see our children? Because if she saw your child, Katie, like she saw her child, then I do not think she would have even reached for a taser, much less a gun, because when they see their children, they see their future, they see the best and the brightest that they have to give the world for the future. They see the most talented and resourceful, most indomitable human beings, when they see their children. I submit to you America, so do we, when we see our children.
Benjamin Crump: (15:27)
I have been notified that Philando Castille’s mother is present here. Let’s please acknowledge her. When we talk about how they see us. So Brianna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenny Walker, is present here with us. Let’s recognize Kenny Walker. All of those who are attached to people who we loved, that the people who were supposed to protect and serve them could not see their humanity. Our children. So I’ll say in conclusion, in this plea for justice, I remind you again, as I did yesterday, what Dr. King told us, because at some point, Daunte Jr. is going to get old enough to watch that video of how his father was slayed so unnecessarily, a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor.
Benjamin Crump: (17:18)
Reverend Al, it’s too often that traffic stops end up as deadly sentences, a death sentence. We’re going to have to make sure that Daunte Jr. know that we stood up for Daunte, his father. And it is so clear to me that we can’t worry about what people say about us, as we stand up for our children. Dr. King said that the coward would ask the question, “Is it safe?” Then he said, expediency would ask the question, “Is it politically correct?” Then he said, “Vanity will come along, Bishop Howl, and ask the question, “Is it popular?” And then he said, “Conscience will come along and ask the question, “Is it right?” And Dr. King concluded, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither popular, not politically correct, or not even safe, but there comes a time when one must take a position because your conscience tells you it is the right thing to do.”
Benjamin Crump: (18:42)
It is the right thing to do to stand up for our children. It is the right thing to do to speak up for our children. It is the right thing to do to fight for our children, because if we don’t fight for our children, we can’t expect nobody else to fight for children like us. And we have to fight for our children until hell freezes over, and then, we have to be prepared to fight on the ice, because our children need to know that’s how much we believe in them. That’s how much we believe in their future, because they too have a right to life, and liberty, and the American dream. And that is the plea for justice. Thank you, God bless you.
Benjamin Crump: (19:49)
Katie and Aubrey, as I prepare to have reflections, and bring you all up to reflect on the blessing that God gave you to bring into this world. I want to take just a moment to acknowledge the family of Jamal Clark who came here to be with you all. Y’all, the Wright family is a beautiful, modern American family. Beautiful in every way, diverse, lovable, just a representative of America, Reverend Al, when you look at them. So if you all, would give you the charity of your undivided attention to the parents of Dante Wright, as they come to give reflections, his mother, Katie Wright, and his father Aubrey Wright. Show your love for this loving family.
Katie Wright: (21:29)
Oh, I sat up until three 30 in the morning, so nervous and scared about what I was going to stand up here and say about my son. I never imagined that I’d be standing here. The rules should completely be reversed. My son should be burying me. My son had a smile that was worth a million dollars. When he walked in the room, he lit up the room. He was a brother, a jokester. He was loved by so …
… jokester, and he was loved by so many. He’s going to be so missed.
Take your time, Katie. I don’t really speak much, but words can’t even explain how I feel right now. That was my son.
I remember when Daunte first became a father, his son was born at 28 weeks along, so he was premature, and the joy that Junior brought to Daunte’s life was truly amazing. He was so happy and so proud, and he always said he couldn’t wait to make his son proud. Junior was the joy of his life, and he lived for him every single day, and now he’s not going to be able to see him.
Benjamin Crump: (24:45)
God bless you. Thank you so much. As Reverend Al has often said, there’s no instructions of how to join this fraternity, it is thrust upon you. At this time, we will have as a brother, his siblings of Daunte Wright; Dallas, Demique, Marcus, Monica, Diamond, and Destiny. If you all will come forward and give reflections as a brother. This beautiful American family. And your name?
My name is Monica Wright, I didn’t really get enough time with him, I wish I got enough. I didn’t get to tell him I loved him before he left. He didn’t deserve this. He was so loved by everybody. Do you all see? Do you all look around and see how big our family was? He had love for everybody.
Benjamin Crump: (26:38)
Say your name.
My name is Dallas, I’m one of Daunte’s three older brothers, and we were pretty much closest out of the two. I spent a lot of time with this man. And every holiday is not going to be the same anymore without him being here, he was literally the life of the party. When he came in, the smile, his laugh was literally contagious. Anybody knows if you heard his laugh, it’s contagious.
But I am going to miss this man so much because he was literally my best friend through thick and thin, through all the late night conversations we had about him trying to better himself as a man and the man he wanted to be for Junior. We’ve talked for hours on it, and he was doing that. And I was so proud of the man that he was becoming, and he was going to make an amazing father to Junior once Junior got older, throughout the years and I loved my little brother to death.
Benjamin Crump: (27:43)
Y’all give a big round of applause for this beautiful American family. [inaudible 00:28:05] She said, everybody talked about that big smile he had. That big smile, and how he lighted up the room. Next, you will hear from his uncle Bobby Wright, the uncle of Daunte Wright. Is he coming along now? Somebody come in with him… Okay. Y’all give it up for Uncle Bobby. Oscar Grant had an Uncle Bobby as well. Something about us Uncle Bobbys.
Bobby McGee: (29:02)
It’s funny that you said Bobby Ray, it’s Bobby McGee, but I was raised by the Wright family, my father is Bobby Ray Senior, and that’s a lot of Bobbys. But I just want to say, Daunte was amazing. From the first day I met him, he was a little bitty boy. And my sister gave him this nickname, Lemon Head. And he would not stop laughing, he wouldn’t stop giggling, that smile, that laugh was there from day one. And he drooled when he was a baby, nonstop, so he just couldn’t stop laughing all the time. So he just brightened the room. And I tell you, it’s not going to be the same without him.
Bobby McGee: (29:47)
I’m just so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend my last birthday with him, and I wish I could tell you that I was spending his birthday with him, but we won’t have that opportunity. This is just a travesty, and we just got to do better as people. We can’t keep being pulled away from our families. Thank you. I actually wrote something for him, but with all this going on, I just don’t know if I can do that part, but I love you Daunte, and we will see you again.
Benjamin Crump: (30:37)
Next, we will have a musical selection and then I will introduce the eulogist who really needs no introduction, but it would be disrespectful not to give him his propers. Now we will have the musical selection. (singing). My Lord. Y’all, thank Bishop [Howe 00:36:44] and his incredible choir from Shallow Tampa International Ministries. Bishop Howe, thank you for having your great choir here so all of America could take in the fullness of the Black church experience. So when those who don’t attend a Black church, when they go to their church on Sunday, they can reflect back to the Black church experience. Thank you Bishop Howe. Amen.
Benjamin Crump: (37:36)
Now has come the time when we pay the highest respects to Daunte Wright with a eulogy, and there is nobody more fitting than our civil rights leader in America today. Every time I call him, he always answers the bail. He answered the bail for Martin-Lee Anderson in 2006, he answered the bail for Trayvon Martin in 2012, Oscar Grant in 2009, he answered the bail for every name we have come to learn in the last three decades of Black people who have been disenfranchised, victimized and marginalized.
Benjamin Crump: (38:38)
And he answers the call in the middle of the night, the wee hours of the morning, even when he’s doing his television show Politics & Nation, he will text you back because that’s how much he cares about Black America and those who have been forgotten about, left behind, swept under the rug. He always is there standing in the gap, giving a voice to the voiceless. My mentor, my friend, he’s a co-counsel when we need him, [inaudible 00:39:27], and he is the man who God has anointed for a time such as this, the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (39:54)
Giving honor to God, to our pastor, give a big hand to Bishop Howe. To my brother Aubrey and sister Katie, and to the whole family, and two of those that have sat in that seat, families that are here that have sat in that seat know better than any of us, how they feel. I don’t care how much settlement they may be given, you can never fill the hole in their heart that was caused for no reason. And that is why they’re here. Give those mothers, fathers and uncles of victims that came today a big hand.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (41:09)
In the tradition of the Black church, we take a text in the subject, and I didn’t want to disrespect Bishop so I went to the book of Isaiah. Today they tell me this is grandma’s birthday, I’m a little older than her, so I got to wear my reading glasses. Book of Isaiah, 59th chapter, eighth and the ninth verse says, “The way of peace they know not, and there is no judgment in their goings; therefore is judgment far from us, neither does justice overtake us.” I want to use for a subject, no justice, no peace.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (42:12)
1986 in a section of Brooklyn called Howard Beach. Young man named Michael Griffith was killed because they said that they didn’t allow Blacks in the neighborhood. Some of us went out and marched, and during the march, one brother yelled, I believe his name was [Amawali 00:42:36], “No justice, no peace.” And it became the chant of our movement.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (42:45)
Some of us have made it popular, but it started there. But it really started in the Bible because Isaiah said that those that practice injustice cannot practice peace. The absence of justice is the absence of peace. And when we say that we’re not talking about violence, because there is a confusion in this country between peace and quiet. Some of us are told to shut up and just be quiet, and you call that peace, but peace is the presence of justice. You can’t tell us to shut up and suffer. We must speak up when there is an injustice. I remember as I was riding here and I saw someone and as I got out the car to meet the family to ride to the church, heard a man say, “I have not seen a funeral procession like this since Prince in Minneapolis.” I said, “Well, we came to bury the prince of Brooklyn Center.”
Reverend Al Sharpton: (44:22)
We come from all over the country because you hurt one of our princes. That’s why we’re in this temple with purple all over because it represents royalty. You thought he was just some kid with air freshener, he was a prince and all the Minneapolis has stopped today to honor the prince of Brooklyn Center.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (45:16)
If you knew who we were, if you understood that we were divine decisions that God made. If you understood that his mother and father broke the racial barrier lines and raised him in an interracial home, that used to be against the law, but they defied the color barriers. A Black man and they white woman and raised children to not hate nobody, and he was a prince of that raising. If you knew who he was-
Reverend Al Sharpton: (46:07)
… you have been caught with mistaken identity. You keep thinking that we are somebody we’re not. They tell our young folks to don’t go to the streets and march, when marching and protesting is a way of correcting the injustice Isaiah talked about. You can’t go to church on Sunday and read this book that we call the Bible and not fight against oppression. God is not on the side of the oppressor. God is on the side of the oppressed. For every Pharaoh, there was a Moses. For every Nebuchadnezza, there was a Daniel. For every Belshazzar there were three Hebrew boys. For every Herod there was a Jesus. We come into the tradition of what God’s plans was. And when you oppress us, we must stand up. That’s why we’re here.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (47:22)
Eleven months ago we stood for George Floyd. And as the trial wound down and the jury was about to give the verdict, and the reason we got the jury we got, and the verdict we got is God used a young brother born and raised as a Muslim, but believing in the same God. It don’t matter how you approach God. And elected him even after you tried to scandalize him. The Attorney General of the State of Minnesota.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (48:20)
God doesn’t use folk without letting you test them. Everybody that God calls, he lets you baptize them in fire. They indicted Martin Luther King, it only got him ready for what he did. Every time you are under attack, you just getting ready because God wouldn’t test you if he wasn’t going to graduate you. And he was being tested and elected so that he was prepared to take the attacks when he stood up for George Floyd. And was able, for the first time in the history of the State of Minnesota to convict a White policeman for killing a Black man, two murder convictions and one manslaughter conviction. God has turned the page in the State of Minnesota and we are never gone back no more. Yes, some of us have different tactics. But all of us have the same goal. Talk about some of y’all are civil rights, some of y’all are street activists. We all street activists, and we all civil rights. Some of us young, some of us old, but we all the same. They don’t discriminate us because of age. And that’s why, when I talked to my Brother Aubrey, and told him that we’d be there for him whatever he needs, because we see this young man as royalty.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (50:20)
When Ben Crump called me the other night and told me that they were winding the trial down, you better come in. I had certain obligations and I had to fulfill them in New York, couldn’t get here the way I wanted. I call one of my wealthy Black friends. He said, I’ll send you my plane. Some of them got on Twitter talking about why I’m on a private plane. Because I’m that kind of guy. When George Floyd was killed, Tyler Perry sent his private plane to bring the Floyd family to Minneapolis. Robert Smith sent a private plane to bring Eric Gardner’s mother and me into Minneapolis. We ain’t in the back of the bus no more. I’d a taken an Apollo rocket if it was available.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (51:37)
Every crisis must be answered, though, with real change. Yesterday the Attorney General Garland announced a study of the practices in Minnesota, and that is going to lead the way it goes. But now we are fighting for a federal law. Why federal law? Because if we keep having to fight state by state, we’ll never solve this. The generation before me, they boycotted in Montgomery against the segregation laws in Alabama. And they boycotted the bus company, 1955, they started December 1st and for a solid year they wouldn’t ride the bus. They said it was better to walk in dignity than the ride in shame. And they broke the backs of Alabama segregation. But Dr. King and Dr. Abernathy and Rosa Parks said, “We can’t stop there, we got to have federal law.” And they went their way.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (52:59)
Then some young students, the young folk of that day, they became freedom riders and others did other things. And it took nine years and they got the Civil Rights Act federally, that made it against federal law, Congresswoman Omar, to discriminate. Where we’ve gone from all of these abuses, from Oscar Grant and Amadou Diallo and others all the way to Philando Castile, right here, in Minneapolis area. We struggled through all of that, but we are going to now, in his name, and the name of Dante, we’re going to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as federal law. We are going to make it against the law all over this country to keep bringing us to funerals for our young princes. This is not a Republican or Democratic thing. Isaiah said, it’s about justice. If you believe in justice, it’s time for the federal government to reflect the will of the people. You couldn’t have a better picture than to have two people that cross the color line and raise children to be somebody, to stand up and embrace them. You couldn’t have had a bad example in the Floyd family that wiped tears from their eyes and stood up with dignity even as they watched them smear their brother, their uncle, their father. We’ve always had to take the smearing, Keith Ellison. But behind every dark night, the sun will shine. I was talking to one of the relatives and I said, “Well, what are they trying to justify?” One said, “Well, they said they saw some air fresheners in the back of his car.” Well, air fresheners is to keep the bad odors out.” Well, we come today as the air fresheners for Minnesota, we trying to get the stench of police brutality out of the atmosphere. We’re trying to get the stench of racism out of the atmosphere. We’re trying to get the stench of racial profiling out of the atmosphere. We come to Minnesota as air freshness because your air is too odorous for us to breathe. We can’t breathe in your stinking air no more. I know we got to get to the cemetery, but let me tell you this, the time has come for America to stand up and bring a new day to where we don’t have to explain to our children what to do when the police stop you. It’s time to bring a new day where we don’t have to videotape when we see a badge, but where we know that they’re there to serve and protect, not treat us like we’ve been convicted. The time has come for police to understand they’re not above the law, they’re to enforce the law. And if you can’t live up to the badge, don’t take the oath and put it on. When we put that badge on you, we expect you to act like somebody that is civilized and respectful. Some say, “Reverend Al, police are human.” Well, we knew that otherwise we wouldn’t have sent you through training. But we assume when you come through that you were trained. Trained people don’t confuse guns from tasers. Trained people don’t shoot men like Philando with a child in the back seat. Trained people don’t put knees on people’s necks for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Trained people don’t shoot 41 times at Amadou Diallo. Trained people don’t shoot at a young 12 year old boy named Tamir Rice. You broke your training. Now we going to send you to the corner, and you get your punishment at the corner of the newest jail that we can find.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (58:11)
So as we celebrate this young man’s life, 20 years old, not even reaching his mid-twenties. His mother and father heartbroken, his siblings heartbroken. But they will be comforted knowing that because of this sacrifice, that he’s going to change the laws of the land. Children unborn is going to know his name. Governors here, Congress people here, Senators here for you, Dante. Because you are the prince that made us all come together.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (58:57)
They stopped traffic today, all the way through Minneapolis. Folk couldn’t drive no where because they had to say, “Hail to the prince. They shouldn’t have done what they done. We go stop Minneapolis today because a prince is on his way to his rest.” And as you rest, there’s a resting place. There’s a martyrs bench. Take your seat, Dante. Tell George Floyd who you are. Take your seat, Dante. Shake hands with Philando Castile. Take your seat, take your seat next to Oscar Grant because there’s a special place in heaven for those that shed innocent blood. Because God will use you to straighten out the world. The world will never be the same, because we going to stand up for situations like this. We do not, in any way, condone or incite violence. People keep telling me, “Reverend, why don’t y’all tell people not to be violent?” We always have. But when are you going to tell policemen to stop being violent? Problem is not us talking to our youth, the problem is you talking to your bad cops. Now all cops are not bad, I saw 10 get on the stand of the day and testify against another policeman.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:00:44)
That’s why, know change is here. When you see the blue wall of silence tumble in a courtroom in Minneapolis, when policemen understand that they are committed to the oath rather than to their colleague, that’s when we know a breakthrough is coming. That’s when we know we can pass the George Floyd Bill, because folk are not going light on you no more. And next time you get ready to pull your gun, next time you get ready to bend your knee put in your mind the picture of the man taking the handcuffs and making Chauvin put his hands behind his back and walk into a penitentiary and learn that you will pay for the crimes you commit.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:01:38)
As I talk closer to the family, they said that, “Well, the real reason they stopped was because his tags had expired.” Well, I come to Minnesota to tell you your tags have expired. Your tags of racism has expired. Your tags of police brutality has expired. Your tags of white supremacy has expired. Your tags of looking at us different than everybody else, has expired. Your tags have expired. It’s time to renew and get some new tags. A tags of righteousness, tags of fairness, tags of treating everybody the same way. Tags of “No justice. No peace.”
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:02:40)
Lastly, when I come to Minneapolis three days after George Floyd was killed, lynched by knee, I went to one of the [inaudible 01:03:03] marches and I saw almost as many Whites as Blacks. Now, your children are doing what you wouldn’t do. Standing up for justice. Martin Luther King III and I, National Action Network, called a march in Washington, August 28th, the anniversary of his father’s march. People told me don’t call it, it’s a pandemic, it’s going to be a super spreader.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:03:36)
But 204,000 people came. We tested them all, we did all we were supposed to do to see what way we could avoid any breaking out of COVID coming in. And we marched around the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. We marched around the John Lewis Voting Act, because they’re trying to turn back voting rights. Those tags done expired, too. That ain’t going to happen no more.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:04:11)
And we marched all over. Marched for Breonna Taylor, whose boyfriend is here with us today. Some went and stayed down there, and stood up for Breonna. Getting ready to go march for Pamela Turner, May 13 in Texas. I hope y’all are alive in Texas, we on the way. Because your tags have expired. We are going to stop by North Carolina where a young man was shot yesterday. We’re going to look in Columbus, Ohio, your tags have expired. We’re gone wherever you show up, because your tags have expired. In the name of the Prophet Isaiah, we are not going to be quiet as long as there is no justice.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:05:06)
I want you to know that this Bible, that you claim you believe in, you need to stop quoting it and start reading it. It’s a Bible of justice. And if you don’t understand it, talk to some of us that read it straight. I know y’all had a president that holds it upside down, but turn it right side up. Because if you turn it right side up and you get to the end of the book, at the end of Revelations, God made a promise, Aubrey. God made a promise, Katie. He said, “The first shall be last. And the last shall be first,” and the lion and the lamb are going to lay down together and God will take care of his children. God will make a way out of no way. God will heal the lamb. God will take care of Dante, now. Stand up and be what we were born to be. We’re not anyone’s slave. We’re the children of God! We’re the children of God! We’re the children of God.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:06:47)
Before we leave, and we’re going to leave orderly. We’re going to have the family go out first, and y’all that just became family for a day. Katie and Aubrey had to go outside and identify the family, all of y’all became cousins today. We want the family first. But we want some of those that have come to recognize, the Princely state, that we’re here. And to give proclamations. They ought to be here, whether you agree with them or not, they should be here to respect who he was and what he stood for.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:07:45)
I’ve read he was the center when he played basketball in school. Now he’s the center of a movement of God. I want his brothers and sisters to keep your mother and father covered. Because, it won’t be long before these crowds will be gone. Philando’s mother could tell you that everybody’s here when the cameras are here. But when the cameras go, a lot of your new cousins ain’t going to be there. And y’all are going to have to keep the family together.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:08:26)
This police woman is charged. You going to have to go through a long trial, and they going to try things to not have a trial, but stay by your mother and father. Some of us will be here and others will come when the cameras come back. I don’t worry about the cameras. I got my own TV show. I ain’t trying to get on TV. But stay strong and stay together. I saw his auntie on TV, she preached better than any preacher up here-
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:09:01)
… preaching [inaudible 01:09:00] any preaching up here. Stand up, Auntie.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:09:21)
I want us to hear some proclamations and words. Let me start with another one that had been smeared, that God tested, and they passed the test. Let us hear from our Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar.
Ilhan Omar: (01:10:02)
Salaam alaykum, everyone. Thank you, Reverend Al Sharpton, for being here and for that beautiful eulogy. Most of us in this room, including myself, look at you as a guardian and are blessed to be in your presence. May Daunte Wright serve as a guardian for all of us. But as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, as one of the youngest and newest members of the Congressional Black Caucus, I also have guardians. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and our chairwoman, Joyce Beatty, serve as guardians for me and many of my colleagues. Joyce Beatty was going to be here and speak on our behalf as the chairwoman of our caucus, but just like we’ve been visited by tragedy here in Minnesota often, she in Columbus, Ohio was visited by a tragedy of a young woman whose life was taken by Columbus police.
Ilhan Omar: (01:11:21)
So I wanted to read a little bit of the resolution of congressional condolences that our guardian, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, filed on behalf of our son, Daunte Wright here in Minnesota. Whereas Daunte Demetrius Wright attended Thomas Edison High School in Minneapolis, which I am an alum of, and Blaine High School in Blaine, Minnesota, after high school, he studied at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Minneapolis. Daunte Demetrius Wright had a son born in July 2019. Daunte Demetrius Wright named his son Daunte Demetrius Wright, Jr., and we are today comforted by the words of our Lord in the Revelation 21:4, which says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying. Neither shall there be any more pain for the former things that passed away.” No words can really help ease the pain. No words can really help to ease the loss you bear. Just know that your family and friends are very close in every thought and prayer. May the outpouring of sympathy, the kinds of acts of friends and strangers, the comfort in knowing that your loss is felt by many help you through this. Daunte Demetrius Wright brought great joy to his family, and his life was a blessing to all who had the privilege to know him. Daunte Demetrius Wright is survived and cherished by his father, Aubrey Wright, and his mother, Katie Wright, and his son, Daunte Wright Jr. and a host of family and friends. His legacy will live. We also wanted to present this to his mom and dad, if you all can come. We flew a flag over the United States Capitol on behalf of your son, and I wanted to present the flag to you. (silence).
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:15:32)
Let them stay here a minute. We’ve got something else to present them. All of this, they deserve. When George Floyd was killed and we wanted the best prosecution, my mentor, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and I called the governor. The governor talked to the DA, who graciously stepped back and allowed the attorney general to be the prosecutor that did such a great job, and the governor’s here with us today with a proclamation from the state.
Tim Walz: (01:16:27)
As Governor of Minnesota, on behalf of the entire state and our population, we extend our deepest condolences to the Wright family and issue the following proclamation to honor the life and memory of Daunte Wright. Whereas Daunte Wright was beloved by his families, neighbors, community, and had his entire young life ahead of him, we mourn that loss. We know that this tragedy is connected to the deep and systemic racism in our society that Black people in Minnesota and across this country face every single day. While nothing will bring Daunte Wright back to his loved ones, we must continue to enact real, meaningful change at the local, state, and national levels to fight systemic racism so that every single person in Minnesota, Black, Indigenous, Brown, and White can be safe and thrive. We must be steadfast in our accountability to change from the top to the bottom and not rest until we create a different future for Daunte Wright’s son and every other child like him.
Tim Walz: (01:17:31)
Now, therefore, I. Tim Walz, Governor of Minnesota had ordered a moment of silence for two minutes across the entire state of Minnesota at 12 PM on Thursday, April 22nd to honor the life and memory of Daunte Wright and his family and friends as they lay him to rest. Remember that every person whose life has been cut short due to systemic racism and discrimination will not be forgotten.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:18:17)
In order to pass the George Floyd Bill that has already passed the House, we need to pass it in the Senate. We have an advocate from the Senate, your Senator in Minnesota, Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Amy Klobuchar: (01:18:36)
Thank you so much, Reverend Al, and thank you, Bishop Howell, for allowing me to join you in this sacred space. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Wright in asking me to close out with saying a few words in your son’s memory. I don’t have a proclamation for you to give in a piece of paper. I’ve got a proclamation in the Senate, and that is that we must pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act. There’s a photo of your son, of Daunte that many Americans have seen by now. He’s standing outdoors on a sparkling day, holding his son, Daunte Jr., and he’s got this big smile on his face, that smile that you said, Katie, would light up the room. We see the lively, outgoing young man who always made people laugh, who was lovingly voted class clown his freshman year by his high school class. We see the basketball fan whose left-handed shot would make any coach proud.
Amy Klobuchar: (01:19:51)
Most of all, we see Daunte’s radiant love for his family as he holds his baby boy. In the photo, Daunte Jr. wears a colorful bib with polka dots and a bow tie and the words “First Birthday” printed in cheerful letters across the front. That’s when we see the enormous hole Daunte leaves in the world. That’s when we remember that he won’t be there for his son’s second birthday or high school graduation or to see those grandkids. Racism in this country is not isolated. It is systemic. So when we ask ourselves why Daunte Jr. has to grow up without a dad, when we think about what could possibly fill this hole Daunte left in the world, we come up empty. Instead, we find a much bigger hole where justice should be.
Amy Klobuchar: (01:20:49)
That word is so heavy on our minds this week, justice. Two days ago in a courtroom not 10 miles from where Daunte was shot, a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty, guilty of the murder of George Floyd, and the nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Floyd family. Thank you for being here. To my friend, Attorney General Keith Ellison, who’s … By the way, Reverend Al, if I could introduce his family, Keith’s family, who has had his back, right there, if they could stand up. Keith’s family, his wife, Monica, they had his back through everything, to Ben Crump, Reverend Al, Reverend Jesse Jackson, all those in my state who have been warriors for justice.
Amy Klobuchar: (01:21:36)
Yet while this was a historic moment for our country, we cannot confuse accountability for justice, because true justice is not done as long as having expired tags means losing your life during a traffic stop. True justice is not done as long as the chokehold, a knee on the neck, or a no knock warrant is considered legitimate policing. True justice is not done as long as Black Americans are killed by law enforcement at more than twice the rate of White Americans. To use your words, Katie, true justice is not done as long as your son isn’t coming home for dinner.
Amy Klobuchar: (01:22:21)
Our hearts ache for Daunte in part because so many people in this room and throughout our state can imagine being 20 years old, driving around their neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon. Yes, even with expired registration tags. Yes, even with an air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. Many young people can imagine calling their mom when they need insurance information or when they’re scared. But only some can imagine being shot by a police officer during a traffic stop. Only some could imagine that this phone call would be their last. Only some live that with that fear every single day. That, Mr. Crump, as you know, is the definition of injustice.
Amy Klobuchar: (01:23:11)
During that groundbreaking trial, George Floyd’s family members, a store clerk, a firefighter, passerbys as well as, as you noted, Reverend Al, a number of police officers testified about George Floyd and what happened that day. They told the truth. They said it was wrong, and we heard Darnella Frazier, a teenager who testified, having witnessed George Floyd murder, say, “It’s been nights I stay up apologizing and apologizing for George Floyd for not doing more.” Could she have done more? No. It was not on her to change what happened that fateful day, and it’s not on people who nearly a year later happened to be at the intersection of 63rd and Orchard in Brooklyn Center to change what happened to Daunte. It is on us as leaders in our communities, in our neighborhoods, as lawmakers. We can do more. We must do more, because for too long, change has come inch by inch when we should be miles ahead.
Amy Klobuchar: (01:24:18)
It is time for Washington, DC to move forward on police reform and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. We must make policing more accountable. We have to change police training and standards, including banning chokeholds, which my [inaudible 01:24:38] Smith is leading the bill to ban chokeholds. Along with myself, she is up here with me on this stage. We have to change the status quo so that driving while Black doesn’t result in getting shot. This, this is the urgent task before us, not for tomorrow when I go back to Washington, not for tomorrow, not for next year, but for now, true justice. So as we remember Daunte’s life and grieve his death, we must repair what’s broken in this country and make sure class clowns and basketball fans, doting fathers and caring sons remain with us in body, as Daunte now does in spirit, Mrs. Wright, and we won’t rest until justice, true justice is done. That’s my proclamation to you.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:25:49)
We are getting ready to go. Let me again thank our warrior, the attorney general of Black America, Ben Crump. Give him a lot of love. A day before the final funeral of George Floyd in Houston, then-candidate Joe Biden came to Houston and met with the Floyd family and Ben Crump and I and showed a sensitivity. He’s called them since then. He’s met with the civil rights organization heads convened by Marc Morial, the president of the National Urban League, who’s here. He said he would meet periodically, and we’re calling on the president to meet. There needs to be a White House meeting on how we deal with these police incidents, one right after another, that he and the vice president are committed to. There needs to be a meeting with the attorney general. We call for it right here in this funeral this morning.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (01:27:04)
We have many mayors here, and we’re glad that they’re all present. We are happy that you’re here. We want the family to go out first. The ministers will lead them out. Then I want some of the activist groups, not just those of us that are known, but those that’s been marching in the streets that made this happen. Many of you need to walk behind the family, because you made this happen. Then I want our head of Youth and College National Action Network, Minister Tylik McMillan. My youngest daughter’s with me, Ashley Sharpton. Reverend Bartley. Where is Until Freedom? They’ve been marching all over for Breonna. Where they at? Tell them that we want them to march with us. We want to go together, NAACP, Urban League, all of us. Marc, walk with the ministers, please, as we lead the family out, and make sure that you put your red light on, because some tags are expired, and we’ve got to pull them over with a new law, the George Floyd Law. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance and give you peace. In Jesus’ name, amen. (silence).