Adam Bingman, email@example.com
Minneapolis, MN -- Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune and Minnesota Sierra Club North Star Chapter Chair Kamau Wilkins issued the following statement on the murder of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, MN. This officer-involved killing of a Black man occurred in the same metropolitan area as the site of George Floyd’s death in 2020, all while the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin is nationally televised. In July of 2019, the Sierra Club joined a coalition of environmental justice to release a just and equitable national climate platform that centers racial, climate and environmental justice to improve the public health and well-being of all communities.
“Our deepest condolences are with the Wright family, the Twin Cities and Minnesota community and all who continue to fight for justice both on the frontlines of our movement and in spaces unseen, yet heard and felt. As the world watches and reacts to the horrific police killing of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, our continued thoughts are with all people, who are impacted by Wright’s public killing and the countless others who have lost their lives due to police violence and systemic racism. The outrage felt by many comes from the pain and realization that their lives are in danger for simply being.
While we are waiting to learn more, we must reiterate that police violence and killings of Black people must end, as must the over-policing and racial profiling that are endemic to our white supremacist system of policing. Further progress and commitment is needed from all our local and state leadership to create policy that dismantles the continued militarization of police. We must all recognize that the core issue in public safety is state and local leaders’ lack of a deep and fervent commitment to Anti-Racism. This must end.
The momentum toward justice and redefining the way we view public safety and policing in this country has long existed before now, and we must join and support the organizers and change agents who are working tirelessly for the urgent paradigm shift we need. Simply put, we can no longer continue to accept the status quo that allows for such egregious acts of police violence against people of color.
Everyone -- including you -- has an important role to play. Our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) staff and volunteer leaders are leading the way through direct leadership roles in racial justice and restorative justice work and partnerships with other organizations and movement leaders. Our white staff and volunteers are working on rooting out white supremacy culture in the organization and our broader environmental community. On this journey, we strive to show up, learn, have uncomfortable conversations with family and friends, listen to and amplify Black voices, and take direction from local Black leadership. Each of us can be an active participant in our communities to demand a massive structural shift in the design and objectives of our criminal justice system.
The Sierra Club is committed to confronting the inequality embedded into our society that has allowed these tragedies to persist. If we want to create communities that are truly safe, just and equitable, we must continue fighting for the humanity and the dignity of all people.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.