The death of Daunte Wright bolsters demands to get police officers out of traffic-law enforcement.
Traffic laws didn’t kill Daunte Wright, but critics of the police are using his death to call for an end to their enforcement. Likewise with George Floyd and laws against counterfeiting.
On April 11 Brooklyn Center, Minn., police stopped Wright, 20, for an expired vehicle registration. Officers then discovered that Mr. Wright had an open warrant for failing to appear in court on charges of illegal gun possession and fleeing from arrest. After following instructions to get out of his car, Wright fought with the cops and lunged back into the driver’s seat when they attempted to arrest him on the outstanding warrant. One of the officers reached for her Taser but, she claims, mistakenly grabbed her pistol instead. She fired one lethal shot.
Floyd allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill, a federal offense, at a Minneapolis convenience store on May 25, 2020. The cashier called police after Floyd refused to return the cigarettes he bought. Floyd intermittently resisted arrest, prompting the responding officers to put him face down on the ground, handcuffed. Officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck and collarbone for nearly eight minutes. Floyd passed out and died. A jury convicted Mr. Chauvin of second-degree murder.
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal, and the author of the bestselling War on Cops and The Diversity Delusion. Follow her on Twitter here.
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