‘We have to add human to humanity:’ Tucson organizer speaks on Daunte Wright’s shooting

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 6:33 AM MST|Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 10:32 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “As soon as you try to heal something else happens. It’s an ongoing situation where we die by the hands of people that are supposed to protect us,” said Desiree Cook, the Founder & CEO of I AM YOU 360.

Some members of Tucson’s Black community are feeling hopeless in light of Daunte Wright’s killing at the hands of police in Minnesota over the weekend.

Cook said watching what happened to Wright is dehumanizing. And as a mother of seven children, it’s a hard conversation she has to have with her only son.

“If you were to ever be pulled over by the police, keeping your hands on the steering wheel and not doing any extra movements because that could be a concern,” she said.

Cook is also keeping her eye on the Derek Chauvin murder trial, just 10 miles from where Wright took his last breath. As soon as she feels some kind of hope in the justice system something else happens.

“As an African-American woman, that can happen anywhere. It just happens to affect Minnesota in such a way. It’s a scary time because this is our reality,” she said.

Cook says one year ago, her organization began having open dialogues with the Tucson Police Department after George Floyd’s death to help bridge a gap between the community and police.

“You’re a human first. The badge is just a small part of who you are, and we understand you want to make it home to your families, but so do we,” she said.

According to police, it’s not clear how much of a role the air fresheners played in Wright’s traffic stop. Arizona is one of seven states where it is illegal to have an object near the rearview or side mirror if it obstructs or reduces the driver’s view.

We reached out to TPD to see how many people have been pulled over for that reason, but a number could not be provided at this time. However, the agency says it is not commonly seen while they conduct traffic stops.

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