The emotional toll of the last week has been overwhelming: Another unarmed Black person shot and killed by law enforcement, another round of GoFundMe donations to the family members left behind, another period of nationwide protest, characterized by critics as senseless mayhem despite the fact that burning it all down can feel like the only thing that makes sense. But there can be moments of levity too, and those watching the fallout from Daunte Wright’s death found it in the form of a handsome protester.
On Wednesday, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon covered the protests in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, where 20-year-old Wright was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop over the weekend. The officer, Kim Potter, claims she meant to use a taser during the altercation, not a firearm. She has since been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
“I’ve been here all four nights, I’m just standing here today with soup for my family—” Worku said, then winked at the camera. “—And, uh, we’re just watching this all unfold. It’s very unfortunate.”
Incredible callback: Last July President Trump went on a rant during a meeting with the National Association of Police Organizations, alleging that anti-police brutality protesters come armed with canned food to attack police officers.
“They throw the cans of soup—that’s better than a brick, beacuse you can’t throw a brick, it’s too heavy—but a can of soup, you can really put some power into that, right? And when they get caught they say, ‘No, this is soup for my family.’ It’s incredible... And you have people coming over with bags of soup, big bags of soup, and they lay it on the ground, and the anarchists take it and start throwing it at our cops, at our police. And if it hits you, that’s worse than a brick, because it’s got force. It’s the perfect size.”
He made similar comments at a campaign rally in September. This time, he focused on protesters using cans of tuna as projectiles: “They have like 25 cans of tuna. They get caught... [cans of tuna] can really rip it, right? And that hits you. Bumble Bee brand tuna, and you can throw that, because you put a curve on it, you can do whatever you want.”
There is no evidence of widespread use of canned food as protest weapons. Worku’s tongue-in-cheek throwback, however, appeared less amusing to Sidner.
‘“You’re not planning on using that, are you?” Sidner asked. “Throwing it at the police...”
“Like I said, it’s for my family,” Worku replied.
Sidner remained skeptical, but who cares? It was a charming moment of levity at a dark time, and his good looks did not go unnoticed: “Why my pussy throbbing?” read one comment. One woman said, “I would marry him and work day and night to buy him all the soup he could ever want. Soup. Stews. Bisque. Even broth. Only the best.” And writer Jasmine Sanders summed up what many of us were thinking: “Wait he’s like the hottest protester I’ve ever seen.”
Worku is well aware of his sudden viral fame and wrote the following message on Instagram: “I appreciate the love and support. Let’s keep showing up for Daunte Wright and all of those we’ve lost.”
He’s also urging his followers to donate to the GoFundMe campaign that has been set up to support Daunte Wright’s family, which includes Daunte’s one-year-old son. As of Thursday afternoon, the campaign has generated over $700,000 in donations.