Justice in Aging is heartbroken over the tragic death of Daunte Wright in Minnesota. This unjustified killing occurred just miles from the murder trial over George Floyd’s death. In addition, a video was recently released showing Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario, a Black and Latino man, being pepper sprayed and berated at gun point during a routine traffic stop in Virginia. The horrors of excessive force and police brutality for Black and Latinx people are an ongoing, yet unacceptable, daily occurrence in today’s America.
Our frustrations are amplified by the tragic murders of Asian Americans in Atlanta last month, which occurred after months of harassment and assault against the Asian American community, including against older adults. The murderer was taken into custody peacefully. These two systems of justice – one where unarmed Black men are brutalized or killed, while an armed, violent white man is given peaceful custody – only further the anxieties and injustice experienced by so many people of color in this country. Older adults of color can also be subjected to and are impacted by anti-Black police violence, which is why we support the movement to shift funding from policing to community-based interventions.
So what is to be done beyond speaking out and joining our allies in demanding justice for Daunte Wright, Caron Nazario, and far too many others facing injustice at the hands of police? We will continue to listen to, and elevate the voices of those experiencing racism and discrimination in all manners, we will keep fighting to undo systemic racism in all its forms, across the lifespan, and we will continue to work in solidarity with Black, Latinx, and Asian American communities.