More than a hundred protesters marched from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge to Boston Common, calling for justice for Daunte Wright on Sunday, a week after the 20-year-old Black man was killed by a police officer in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.
Corban Swain, a graduate student at MIT and one of the event’s organizers, said he hoped to bridge the gap between the student and activist communities and provide a space for spiritual healing during the event, which lasted more than two hours.
“We are seeking a complete reimagining and reform of public safety, both here and nationally,” Swain said.
Wright, a young father, was pulled over for a minor traffic violation on April 11. Officials said the officer who shot Wright, Kim Potter, meant to fire her Taser, not her gun, while attempting to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant.
Protesters wore black and held signs that said, “No Justice, No Peace,” as they gathered in front of MIT’s main entrance at 77 Massachusetts Ave.
Swain and co-organizer Kelvin Green II, a fellow MIT student, read a list of demands.
In solidarity with Wright’s family, the crowd called for more serious charges against Potter. They also called on Lowell police to release the full report on the disappearance and death of Moses Harris, whose body was pulled from the Merrimack River last month after he disappeared in December.
Potter, who resigned Tuesday, was charged with second-degree manslaughter. She was released from jail after posting $100,000 bond. The city’s police chief also resigned.
MIT student Sienna Williams led the crowd in a series of chants. A marching band consisting of a tuba, drum, and trumpet played along.
“No liberation, no revolution!” they called out. “Whose streets? Our streets!”
The crowd began its march over the Massachusetts Avenue bridge around 8:15 p.m. Several people at the front carried a banner with the words “Justice for Daunte Wright.” State Police blocked traffic on either side.
At the bridge’s center, the crowd paused to honor those killed at the hands of police, ancestors killed in the trans-Atlantic slave trade journey from Africa to the United States, and others lost in the struggle for freedom. Protesters turned on their cellphone flashlights and raised the devices in the air.
“The lights — they represent a life,” Green said at the start of a moment of silence. “They represent a culture.”