Just days apart from each other, two young men of color in different parts of the United States lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement. 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed in Chicago’s predominantly Latinx neighborhood of Little Village by 34-year-old officer Eric Stillman after chasing the preteen down an ally.
Days prior, 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man from Minnesota, was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter after being pulled over for a routine traffic stop. A makeshift memorial for these victims of police brutality was recently put up in Bakersfield, CA, but it seems like officers from the city’s police department were not feeling the tribute.
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Footage obtained by TMZ displays Bakersfield residents holding a vigil on Saturday night (April 15) in which various temporary memorials were crafted. The video shows an officer removing multiple parts of the memorial and folding the cardboard signs up. A woman confronts him and expresses her disapproval, demanding his badge number, to which he obliges, before taking the signs to his cruiser.
She then demands he put the sign back, but the officer is simply not having it. “This would not be the first time a vigil went up in flames so things have to be removed to avoid a fire,” said the officer to the woman.
Bakersfield Police rips down vigil for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo
♬ original sound – Erikaharris14_
Racialized policing and police brutality have long been a problem vocalized by the Black community in the United States. Last summer at the height of the COVID-10 pandemic, protests erupted across the country after the high-profile deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, sparking demonstrations nationwide calling for a concrete change.
The Chicago prosecutor who initially falsely claimed Adam Toledo was armed at the time of his death has been placed on leave, while the family of Duante Wright is calling for Kim Potter to be charged with murder.
We’ll keep you updated in both cases.