Volunteers install the iconic wooden fist statue from George Floyd's memorial near the spot where Daunte Wright was killed in Brooklyn Center, Minn. Credit: Ben Hovland | Sahan Journal

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Jordan Powell-Karis was full of emotion when he heard about the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright on Sunday night. Powell-Karis, you may recall, is the Minnesota artist behind the iconic raised fist sculpture located at George Floyd’s memorial. 

Early the next morning, the artist reached out to Jeanelle Austin, who has become the caretaker of the displays in the square. He posed a question: “Is this an opportunity to use the first fist?”–that is, the wood prototype, later copied in steel. 

Austin’s response: “Definitely.”

Powell-Karis tells Sahan Journal that he visited three U-Haul stores to find an available truck, but it still wasn’t large enough to carry the fist and its rectangular base. It took a whole crew of his friends to haul the fist’s many pieces from south Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center, where a small memorial for Wright has taken shape at the corner of Kathrene Drive and 63rd Avenue. 

“The garden energy was a request from [Daunte’s] family,” Powell-Karis says, gesturing to a display of potted plants arranged around the fist. “Jeanelle has been in touch with people on the ground.” 

The wooden fist stands over 12 feet tall. Powell-Karis created it shortly after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd last summer. 

What message does he hope the fist sends to the community in Brooklyn Center? “We get to heal. We get to grieve together, right here, right now.”

Ben Hovland is the multimedia producer for Sahan Journal. His photo and video reporting has appeared in The Washington Post, Agence France-Presse, and Minnesota Public Radio.