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Minneapolis prepares for Daunte Wright funeral

A US police officer faces manslaughter charges for shooting Wright on April 11 not far from where George Floyd was killed last May.

Minneapolis, Minnesota – The US midwestern city Minneapolis is in mourning on Thursday as it prepares for the funeral of Daunte Wright after a week of victories for the city’s growing civil rights movement.

Wright, 20, a Black man, was killed by former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter on April 11, in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb. Potter is white.

Body-worn camera footage from Potter appears to show the 26-year veteran confuse her gun for a Taser during a tumultuous traffic stop. She has been charged with manslaughter in Wright’s death.

Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton will eulogise Wright, telling the story of a young man loved by friends and family, less than a year after he did the same for George Floyd.

A court found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Tuesday in the death of Floyd, a Black man.

Chauvin, who is white, knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes after an arrest over the use of an allegedly counterfeit $20 bill. The Minneapolis police had initially said Floyd “died after a medical incident during police interaction”.

Darnella Frazier, then 17, videoed the May 25 incident on her phone and posted it on social media – which sparked protests and the eventual charges against Chauvin and three other Minneapolis police officers. The other three are scheduled to be tried in August for aiding and abetting Chauvin.

“I think that we are in a very serious moment of real opportunity to deal with the issue of police reform,” Sharpton told MSNBC on Thursday morning.

The city expected mass protests ahead of the Chauvin verdict, but the mood quickly turned to celebration when the guilty rulings were read out – a feeling that has remained in Minneapolis’ cold air.

Reverend Al Sharpton arrives with family and friends of Daunte Wright to attend his public viewing at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US [Octavio Jones/Reuters]

The climate has calmed but saddened. Mourners visited Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis on Wednesday during Wright’s wake. His body lay in an open casket, covered in red roses.

Floyd’s family are to attend the funeral on Thursday.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), told Al Jazeera on Wednesday he worried the verdicts against Chauvin would put people into a “relaxed” state.

Hussein, who has become a leader of the local movement for police accountability and equal treatment under the law, appeared at two press conferences on Thursday. He asked the crowds of roughly three dozen to keep up the pressure on the criminal justice system.

“The clock is ticking for someone in our community, we just don’t know who,” Hussein said at the second press conference in front of the Hennepin County Government Center, where Chauvin was convicted.

“The police will kill someone else in our communities.”