Daunte Wright Memorial To Cost Brooklyn Center Nearly $250k
The Daunte Wright memorial installation planned at the intersection of 63rd Avenue and Kathrene Drive is expected to cost the city nearly $250,000.
The costs for the monument are included within the city’s settlement with the Wright estate, Brooklyn Center City Manager Reggie Edwards told the Brooklyn Center City Council on July 24.
“We hope that it will be something that does bring community together, something that community can be proud of,” Edwards said. “We recognize that it won’t do that for everyone, but we tried to do the best we could on behalf of all the residents.”
Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter shot and killed Wright in April 2021. Potter said she believed her service pistol was her Taser when she shot Wright during a traffic stop.
The city and Wright’s family later agreed to a $3.25 million legal settlement.
As part of the settlement, the city agreed to install a permanent memorial for Wright at 63rd and Kathrene.
Design of the Monument
Juxtaposition Arts designed the memorial. The firm hired artist apprentices ages 19-20 to work on the design. Two of these apprentices were Brooklyn Center residents.
The design elements include a metal portrait of Wright, a historical placard and a flower planter.
Symbols from the existing memorial were incorporated into the metal portrait of Wright and the planter, Edwards said. They include the number 23, a fist, an infinity symbol and a three-pointed crown.
“Twenty-three being a favorite number of Daunte,” Edwards said, “and him being the center, or king of his family, of their lives. And infinity — the notion is — it’s not about here on earth, but eternal life. And then the fist, indicating solidarity and the uplifting of people regardless of their place in life, or who they are, or their ethnicity.”
The flower planter was the most important element for Katie Wright, mother of Daunte Wright, according to Edwards.
“That was the last place where she saw her baby,” Edwards said.
Maintaining the Monument
The total costs to the city for design and construction of the monument are approximately $243,000.
The city will retain ownership of the monument and will be responsible for upkeep.
Edwards said the city will take out an insurance policy on the display in case it is damaged or vandalized.
“There is no guarantee that we prevent anyone from tagging it or doing graffiti,” Edwards said. “The best strategy that we have to prevent that from happening is to be in agreement with [Katie Wright] and the family. In that Ms. Wright and the family helps communicate to the broader public that this is sacred space. And [they can] ask people not to defame it, not to put graffiti. Because it means something, not only to her and the family but to the broader community.”
Edwards said crews should begin constructing the monument in mid August, weather permitting.
City Manager Asks Council to Forward Him Questions
According to Edwards, due to the terms of the settlement, the Brooklyn Center City Council is not at liberty to discuss the details of how the monument came to be.
“What went into it, how was it made up, what transpired — those are closed meetings,” Edwards said. “They have attorney privileges, client privilege.”
Edwards asked the council to forward questions or comments to him or the city’s legal representation.