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Roanoke advocates protest calling for racial justice after Daunte Wright killing

‘It’s also an outcry for the community to come together’

People gathered outside the Roanoke Police Department building on Friday evening.
People gathered outside the Roanoke Police Department building on Friday evening.

ROANOKE, Va. – Joining the nationwide outcry for justice of police-involved killings against Black people, Roanoke advocates call for more action against racial targeting and police brutality.

Organizers say Friday’s protest is not only about the shooting of Daunte Wright but other incidents like the violent traffic stop in Windsor.

Calling for more police accountability, Roanoke protestors are calling for justice for Daunte Wright. Wright was a 20-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by a white officer near Minneapolis Sunday during a traffic stop.

A deadly scene Taylor Saunders, a co-organizer of No Justice, No Peace Roanoke, says is terrifying and is protesting against.

“Black people are internalizing that stress and we are internalizing the trauma that we see every day,” Saunders said.

Recognizing this, Roanoke City Police Department tells 10 News they are aware of today’s protest and are staying in touch with the organizer. The department said they “support everyone’s right to peacefully exercise their first amendment rights.”

Leading the protest Friday, Tatiana Durant said it’s only a matter of time until these incidents will happen closer to home.

“It’s also an outcry for the community to come together and say this can happen in our community,” Durant said.

Durant questions the police system after a viral video of a traffic stop gone wrong in Windsor. Lt. Caron Nazario, an Afro-Latino man, was pepper-sprayed and knocked down by two police officers back in December. Saunders and Durant said the police force needs to be abolished because it’s a broken system.

“The system they are a part of is inherently racist and is inherently bad and gets people killed,” Saunders said.

Both Saunders and Durant said they would rather see more community-involved policing and are calling for reallocation of funds to tackle issues like mental health.


About the Author:

Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.