On April 11, 2021, Daunte Wright, 20 year old African American, was brutally shot by Brooklyn Centre, Minnesota police officer, Kim Potter during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis Saint Paul Metropolitan area.
According to the Chief Tim Gannon of Brooklyn Centre Police Department, officers pulled Mr Wright over on Sunday afternoon for traffic violation related to expired registration. It was then discovered that officers had a warrant for his arrest.
As the police tried to detain Mr Wright, he stepped back into his car and an officer said she was going to use a Taser on him but instead of shooting a taser, Officer Kim fired a hand gun and screamed ‘oh shit, I shot him.’ The car traveled several block and struck another vehicle. Mr Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Hennepin County Medical examiner concluded Monday that Mr Wright “died of gunshot wound of the chest and manner of death is homicide. “
Wright’s death and release of body camera footage from the officer who shot Wright ha e triggered emotions and protest in Brooklyn Centre few miles from where the trial Derek Chauvin-the former Minneapolis officer accused of killing George Floyd last year is taking place.
Protest were peaceful until Tuesday evening when chaos erupted at the Brooklyn Center police station. Officers used pepper sprays and fired flash bombs at protesters. In defence, water bottles and other projectiles were thrown at officers.
Moreover, Floyd’s family left the trial to pay their condolences and meet with the Wright family outside the Minneapolis courthouse, “they thought it was important that they give comfort to Daunte Wright’s mother and family”, said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Wright family.
Katie Wright, the victim’s mother told the reporters that her son had been driving a car that his family had given him two weeks ago and that he called her when he was being pulled over. Katie stated that she could hear the police and her son struggling and the line went off. She thought maybe he was getting arrested but soon saw that it was much worse when the girl Wright had in the car answered her call via FaceTime and was screaming ‘they shot him.’
Both officer Kim and Tim Gannon have resigned. The case is being investigated by an independent agency and it is not clear if Potter will be charged. However, the explanation that Wright was killed accidentally gives zero comfort to his family. Katie Wright said she “would live to see justice served and her held accountable for everything she’s taken from us.”
Wright leaves a young son, Daunte Wright Jr who was supposed to see his dad to celebrate his upcoming 2nd birthday.