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Ariana Grande, Olivia Rodrigo & More Seek Justice for Daunte Wright After Minnesota Police Fatal Shooting

Daunte Wright
Christian Monterrosa/AP/Shutterstock

People gather in protest for Daunte Wright who police shot and killed during a traffic stop on April 11, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by Minnesota police during a traffic stop on Sunday, and artists are seeking justice in his name.

Around 2 p.m. local time on Sunday, Brooklyn Center Police Department officers pulled over Wright for a traffic violation and tried taking him into custody upon discovering he had an outstanding arrest warrant. Police said Wright instead went back inside his vehicle, where his girlfriend was in the passenger seat, and an unidentified officer shot him. He drove the car for several blocks before striking another vehicle. Wright died at the scene, while his girlfriend was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

According to Minnesota-based WCCO-TV, Daunte's mother, Katie Wright -- whom he called after the cops pulled him over -- told protesters that gathered Sunday evening, "He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror." Minnesota state law prohibits objects, such as air fresheners, suspended "between the driver and the windshield" that can obstruct the driver's vision.

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting in Monday's (April 12) press conference as "an accidental discharge" when the unnamed officer shouted "Taser!" before she fired a handgun. Monday's Black Lives Matter protests near the scene of Wright's death took place on the 11th day of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis police officer who has been charged with murdering George Floyd nearly one year ago on May 25, 2020, which occurred approximately 10 miles away from where Wright died. Approximately 13 miles away from the scene of Wright's death, Philando Castile was also shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn., on July 6, 2016.

Ariana Grande and Mandy Moore shared a list of resources on their Instagram Stories to support those needing bail through the Minnesota Freedom Fund and The Bail Project, Minnesota-based social justice grassroots organizations such as Reclaim the Block and the local ACLU chapter, and phone numbers to call for legal assistance as well as tips for what to bring and leave at home in order to protest safely. Meanwhile, Olivia Rodrigo shared a graphic on her IG Story that put Wright's unlawful death in the context of Chauvin's ongoing murder trial.

"Justice for #dauntewright. A 20 year old father pulled over for having an air freshener hanging from his rear view mirror (it's illegal in Minnesota) and killed just miles from where George Floyd was murdered. It is sickening and heartbreaking," Moore wrote on her Story. "The system doesn't need reform, it needs a full transformation."

On his Instagram Story, Macklemore wrote, "Again. And again. And again. Im on the verge of tears thinking about his life, his sons life, his parents, his girlfriend. The ripples of this senseless police killing, AGAIN of an unarmed black man. This is horrific. The word tragedy doesn't do it justice. And it's common practice with our police departments all over the country. Defunding, proper training and systemic racism education are necessary as starters. RIP Daunte. Love and prayers to his family and friends. This should have never happened, But it will continue if we don't reform, change and hold those in positions of power accountable."

See what other artists had to say about Wright's death below.