Protests in Minneapolis suburbs surge after police fatally shoot 20-year-old Daunte Wright. This comes right in the midst of Derek Chauvin’s Trial for the killing of George Floyd.
On April 11th, police fatally shot a Black man, identified as Daunte Wright. He had been pulled over by officers for a traffic violation when police determined that Wright had a warrant out for his arrest.
When officers tried to detain Wright, he stepped back into his vehicle and was shot. The 20-year-old drove a few more blocks before hitting another car. He was declared dead at the scene. While people in the other car were not injured, Wright’s passenger, his girlfriend sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Brooklyn Centre Police Department Chief Tim Gannon watched the body camera footage from the shooting and believes it was an “accidental discharge.” He says the officer, now identified as Kim Potter
“had their intention to deploy the Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.”
Gannon mentioned that the officer repeatedly shouts “Taser” while struggling with Wright.
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters that her son called her as he was being pulled over. Before the call ended, she heard an officer telling Wright not to run. When Katie called back his girlfriend answered and said that Wright had been shot.
“He got out of the car, and his girlfriend said they shot him. He got back in the car, and he drove away and crashed and now he’s dead on the ground since 1:47 … Nobody will tell us anything. Nobody will talk to us …”
Wright’s father, Aubrey Wright told The Washington Post,
“I know my son. He was scared. He still [had] the mind of a 17-year-old because we babied him. If he was resisting an arrest, you could Tase him. I don’t understand it.” He continued, “He was a great kid. He was a normal kid. He was never in serious trouble.”
In Daunte Wright’s passing, he leaves behind his beloved two-year-old son.
Protests have surged across Minneapolis to fight against yet another act of police violence. The New York Times reported that police officers outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Department fired rubber bullets and chemical agents at protesters. Who have reportedly begun to throw rocks, bags of garbage and water bottles at police. Minnesota State Patrol officers and National Guard troops were called in to assist police officers.
Similar events were seen following George Floyd’s death as the country responded in an outburst of protests. However, violence during the protests overshadowed its true purpose as images dominated the media. The Associated Press reported that Wright’s mother said,
“All the violence, if it keeps going, it’s only going to be about the violence. We need it to be about why my son got shot for no reason. We need to make sure it’s about him and not about smashing police cars, because that’s not going to bring my son back.”
Brooklyn Centre Mayor, Mike Elliot released a statement following Wright’s death saying,
“Our hearts are with his family, and with all those in our community impacted by this tragedy. While we await additional information from the BCA who is leading the investigation, we continue to ask that members of our community gathering do so peacefully, amid our calls for transparency and accountability.”
Elliot has also publicly announced his support of firing the officer who shot Wright,
“My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession.”
Daunte Wright’s death will become another example of the power police officers have in American society. Accountability is an importance step to ending police violence against minorities.
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