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Youth rally against Flint’s gun violence and the death of Daunte Wright in Minnesota

Carman-Ainsworth junior was disappointed in the lack of a local response to the deadly police shooting
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A group of young people held a rally Thursday afternoon in response to gun violence in Flint and the ongoing police-involved violence in Minnesota.

At the Church Without Walls on Flint’s north side, the youth just wanted to be heard, so they planned the rally to raise their voices.

They said it’s been a few days since Daunte Wright’s death after a police-involved shooting in Minnesota. Investigators say an officer mistook her service handgun for a Taser and shot the unarmed Wright inadvertently. Prosecutors charged her with manslaughter this week.

The youth were upset that no adults, local or state leaders from the area had spoken up about Wright’s death, so they wanted to.

“Daunte Wright inspired us to come out here and kind of bring light to a dark time,” said 17-year-old Kameron Motley, a junior at Carman-Ainsworth High School. “We shouldn’t have to worry about being stopped for our skin or anything along the lines of that. We have a right to life, so it’s our right -- our life.”

He and his friends were joined by their families and several area pastors at Church Without Walls on the City’s north side for the rally. Motley shared his experience of living in fear, saying he was followed home recently, early in the morning, after dropping his sister off at the bus stop.

Kenyetta Dotson, a longtime anti-violence advocate in the Flint community, pointed to the impact young people can make when they aren’t shielded them from reality. Motley said she has helped him become more involved in the community, as he works to be part of the solution.

Motley was overwhelmed by Thursday’s turnout.

“You know it’s actually like blown me away that people are actually willing to come out and help us kindle positive energy right now,” he said. “So yeah, I’m a bit amazed and for me to be a part of this is like even crazier. I’m still kind of digesting it but just amazed.”

Pastor Martez Warren with the Church Without Walls challenged the crowd to make Thursday’s rally a movement, not a moment. He left them all with a question: What are you going to do next?

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