Statement: On Daunte Wright and mobility justice

“What will it take for law enforcement to stop killing people of color?” asks Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney representing the family of Daunte Wright, whom police shot and killed Sunday during a traffic stop in Minnesota. “This level of lethal force was entirely preventable and inhumane.”

If you’ve wondered why we, as transportation advocates, are calling to defund the police and invest in communities, it’s because avoidable tragedies like this fatal shooting continue to happen again and again. “Street safety” means more than just building bike lanes and ending traffic crashes. It also means ensuring everyone is comfortable and welcome on those streets. As the deaths of Daunte Wright, George Floyd, and too many other Black and non-white people have shown, that broader definition of street safety is a privilege often denied through systemic racism and oppressive policing.

This is why it’s imperative to modernize Massachusetts state law to allow for automated enforcement (using cameras to remotely ticket speeding, running red lights etc.) which removes police entirely from traffic stops. This is why we’re fighting a bill in the State Senate that would require people biking to have lights AND reflectors (current law requires either, not both) because police have used such laws to target Black and non-white people on bikes. And this is why we continue to amplify and support local organizations leading efforts to defund police, because resources would be better spent providing help rather than doing harm.

We call on you to stand with us for mobility justice, and to join us in taking action to make streets safer for all.