Closing arguments in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd nearly a year ago, are set to begin Monday.
As the country awaits an outcome in that case, the manner in which police operate in Black and Latino communities – in particular, how they use deadly force — remains very much in the spotlight. In recent weeks, two more names have been added to the grim tally of police killings: 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
In both cases, police body camera footage has been released and the communities in which Wright and Toledo lived are reacting with shock, grief and protests.
Aislinn Pulley, co-executive director of the Chicago Torture Justice Center, said she believes Mayor Lori Lightfoot has responded to the Toledo shooting “horrifically,” in particular the raising of the Lake Shore Drive river bridge. (The Chicago Department of Transportation has said that the bridge raising was part of its regularly scheduled maintenance plan.)
“The AG report that came out just a few months ago revealed that when the mayor raised the bridges during the uprising over the summer, hundreds of people were brutalized, hundreds of people were detained and the brutality was horrific … and this is all a result of the chaos and the confusion because people were trapped downtown,” she said.