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Demonstrators in Bozeman hold vigil and march for Daunte Wright, protest police violence

Posted at 9:45 PM, Apr 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 10:15:16-04

BOZEMAN — Hundreds gathered at Bogert Park in Bozeman on Sunday afternoon to protest police violence after 20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot and killed during a traffic stop by a police officer in Minnesota just a week ago.

“There is an issue of racism everywhere, unfortunately. That just because you don’t see it, because you’re not a person of color doesn't mean it doesn’t exist is this community,” said an organizer with the Montana State University Black Student Union.

Bozeman United for Racial Justice and the Montana State University Black Student Union hosted a vigil and protest.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Bogert Park vowing Wright’s death would not be met with silence.

“What brings me here today personally is exhaustion and anger and grief and all these feelings combined together,” said an organizer with Bozeman United for Racial Justice.

“The intention for me personally is basically just to grieve a life lost that was lost senselessly for no reason,” said somebody with the MSU Black Student Union.

Organizers made calls for the City of Bozeman to reallocate funds from the police department's budget to areas such as affordable housing and other services.

MTN News reached out to the Bozeman Police Department for a response to the local demonstration and calls to defund the police.

“There’s lots of different perspectives to these issues. We’re here to support and defend people peaceably assembling and having their say,” said Captain Dana McNeil with the Bozeman Police Department.

Speakers took the stage, and after, demonstrators marched towards Main Street for a peaceful protest.

“This is a really important cause and it’s a systemic problem in the United States. I have a lot of friends that I care about also maintaining peace and respect for others is really important,” said demonstrator Hannah Smith.