Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) encouraged protesters to “stay in the street” and called for a major overhaul of policing at a gathering outside the Brooklyn Center Police Station on the seventh consecutive night of protests over the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by police.
Wright was killed by policewoman Kimberly Ann Potter after she allegedly mistook her gun for a Taser during a routine traffic stop.
“Policing has got to be changed,” Waters told a crowd of demonstrators. “We’ve got to reimagine how we can deal with the problems of our society, that young people and people of color in particular getting killed by police that we pay to protect and serve us.”
Waters met with a crowd of nearly 300 protesters shortly before the 11 PM curfew in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Station, CNC reports.
The station is just 10 miles away from the courthouse where the trial of Derek Chauvin, convicted for the murder of George Floyd last summer, has been taking place.
“We cannot let these killings continue,” Waters told the protestors. “If nothing does happen, we know we’ve got to not only stay in the streets but we’ve got to fight for justice.”
“But I am very hopeful…” she added, “that we will get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty. If we do not, we will not go away.”
Additionally, the congresswoman urged protesters to “get more active” and “more confrontational” in the event Chauvin is found not guilty for murder.
Protestors in Brooklyn Center have met every night since Wright’s death on April 11. Some protesters became more aggressive despite calls from Wright’s family to remain peaceful.
Josh Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said that by Friday evening, the crowd had grown to about 500 people, which some pushing against the chain-link fence surrounding the police station.
Others reportedly began throwing bottles at police officers.
Police came under fire for their response to the protests after nearly 100 people were arrested in Brooklyn Center, including a number of journalists.
Among the journalists was Asian American CNN producer Carolyn Sung, who was allegedly asked “Do you speak English?” during her detainment.
Since Friday, the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) announced they would not arrest, threaten, or use physical force against reporters.