DALLAS — Doc Rivers displayed his disappointment during one of those “here we go again” discussions Monday concerning a white police officer killing an unarmed Black male in America.
Before his team’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, the 76ers coach was asked his thoughts about Sunday’s fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a Black man, by police in Brooklyn Center, Minn. The incident rocked the Minneapolis suburb miles way from where George Floyd was killed during a police arrest in May.
“You know, frustrating as it should be for ... I think we should stop staying frustrating for all Black Americans,” Rivers said of his thoughts. “I think it should be frustrated [thoughts] by all Americans.”
The Brooklyn Center Police Department released body camera footage of the traffic stop Monday. The video showed two officers approaching Wright’s car. The officer who fired the shot was standing behind them.
Wright broke free as the officer on the driver’s side of the vehicle began to handcuff him. After a struggle ensued, Wright jumped back into the driver’s seat of the car. Threatening to taser him, an officer shouted, “Taser!” before shooting Wright. After Wright drove off, the car traveled several blocks before colliding with another vehicle.
“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said during Monday’s new conference.
But Brooklyn Center community activist Jonathan Mason told the media, “This is murder. This is white supremacy. ...”
Anger was expressed by community members watching the video from the lobby of the police headquarters. Meanwhile, there were protests outside.
“I don’t know if it’s a mistake or not,” Rivers said. “I saw the body cam video like everyone else. But I just know the frustration is a real thing for everybody.
“And for us, we keep hearing this cancel culture stuff. But you know we’re canceling Black lives. And I think to me, that’s a little more important in my opinion and it just keeps happening. We keep making mistakes on killing Black people.”
Rivers said he didn’t want to make it about race, but he said it’s there.
He added that we all have weaknesses that we need to confront to make this a better world, a better country. To Rivers, improving our culture as a society instead of canceling it is important.
“Other countries have done a terrific job,” he said. “I keep going back to Germany. I use Germany as a great example, You don’t see swastikas. You don’t see statues of Nazi soldiers all around. They don’t say that’s cancel culture. They say that’s improving their culture.
“I think we need to think more in those terms.”