A suburban Minneapolis city has agreed to pay $3.2 million to the family of Daunte Wright, a Black man who was fatally shot by a police officer who said she confused her gun for her Taser.
The settlement also includes changes in police policies and training involving traffic stops like the one that resulted in Wright’s death, according to a statement from attorneys representing Wright’s family.
Wright was shot once in the chest by Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter, who is white, after the 20-year-old was stopped for expired registration tags in April 2021. The former officer was subsequently convicted of first- and second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Potter was heard on video yelling “Taser” several times just before she fires her pistol.
Wright’s family members “hope and believe the measures of change to policing, policies and training will create important improvements to the community in Daunte’s name,” said co-counsel Antonio M. Romanucci. “Nothing can bring him back, but the family hopes his legacy is a positive one and prevents any other family from enduring the type of grief they will live with for the rest of their lives.”
The outrage from Wright’s death led the Brooklyn Center City Council to pass a series of reforms, including the use of social workers and other trained professionals to respond to medical, mental health, and social-needs calls that don’t require police.
The changes also prohibit police from making arrests for low-level offenses and require the city to use unarmed civilians to handle minor traffic violations.
The settlement is one of the largest involving police conduct Minnesota. Last year, the city of Minneapolis agreed to pay $27 million to George Floyd’s family.