Construction is set to begin later this month on a permanent memorial in Brooklyn Center honoring Daunte Wright, a man killed by former police officer Kim Potter in 2021.
“There will be a space for offerings,” city manager Dr. Reggie Edwards explained during a July 24 council meeting.
A temporary memorial was built by protesters, but it will be replaced with a new marble and metal memorial.
The memorial will consist of a “sacred planter,” a plaque that tells the story of Wright, and a sculpture of Wright’s head. The sculpture will have crowns, the black power symbol, and the number 23 interspersed throughout. It will also have a ledge where people can place “offerings.”
According to the city, the memorial is utilizing art from 19- to 20-year-old artists who were negatively impacted by Wright’s death. Edwards said the memorial is “not about here on earth but eternal life.”
The memorial is going to cost Brooklyn Center approximately $243,000, which will be paid for with grants and emergency funds. Edwards explained that the permanent memorial and the cost of it was included in a settlement with Wright’s family. The memorial will be maintained by the city.
Edwards said the city’s plan to discourage graffiti is simple. He said that people, especially Wright’s mother, should tell others that “this is sacred space” in order to communicate to the broader community the importance of the memorial.
“That’s our intent in that the Wright family articulate to the general public that it is something they value,” Edwards said. “We think that’s the best tool that we have to prevent the area from being tagged. We hope that that will be the case.”
Wright was fatally shot on April 11, 2021, during a traffic stop by Potter, who was found guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. Since his death, Wright has been accused of various violent crimes including carjacking, choking and attempting to rob a woman, and shooting a friend in the head. The alleged victim in the shooting, Caleb Livingston, was left permanently disabled, according to a civil lawsuit filed by the family.
Livingston died in October at the age of 19, which an attorney for the family attributed to the “criminal conduct of Daunte Wright.”
Attorneys for Wright’s family have previously called the allegations “character assassination.”