Rally hosted in Joplin to bring awareness to Minnesota man’s death

JOPLIN, Mo. —Protests have emerged across the country to honor Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Minnesota man who was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop on April 11th.

In Joplin, a rally was held at 7th and Rangeline. Organizers say was it made to highlight injustices between police and communities of color and to bring awareness to the Joplin area.

“We want Joplin to pay attention to what’s happening nationally and focus on what can we do locally to make our law enforcement better,” said Dola Flake, Co-founder, and organizer of Joplin for Justice. 

Flake said the rally was intended to educate and bring awareness and to ensure transparency between Joplin police and its residents

“We are able to educate our community to bring awareness to the issues that are happening. We are able to begin holding our local law enforcement accountable but letting them know that we support good policing, and we just want to make sure that’s what we have in our community,” Flake said.

She added bringing awareness to this issue can help Joplin grow as a community.

“There are many reasons that we should care about what we’re doing out here today with this rally. To bring attention to the Black lives matter issues. As a community diversity equity and inclusion efforts will grow our community, it will help us to thrive, recruit and retain diverse talent which is the goal of both the chamber and other organizations in our community.”  

Sarah Faucett, a Pittsburg resident, came out to Joplin to show that even though Daunte Wright wasn’t from here, his death still has an impact on the community.

“I think it’s important to show that even though he wasn’t from here it impacted us as well, I think any time a life is lost especially like that, unnecessarily, it impacts all of us. Even though it is far away, we are all still here, it is still an American issue”

Flake added that transparency between law enforcement and the community builds trust.

“So transparency and accountability are very important to bring trust in a community.  So when we do events like this we make a loud statement that we are interested and we are paying attention. And so that prompts communication between the community and law enforcement and that’s always good,” Flake said.