The shooting of a 20-year old unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright, by a police officer in Minnesota was allegedly an “accidental discharge” as the officer claimed to have drawn her gun by mistake instead of a Taser, said Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon.
Wright was driving in Brooklyn Center when he was pulled over initially for having an expired tag. When officers found out that he had an outstanding warrant, they tried to handcuff him beside his car.
A short video from the officer’s body camera showed Wright struggled to get off their hold to get back into his car. The officer can be heard telling Wright “don’t” and warning him that she’s going to use her Taser on him as he was trying to flee.
The officer then repeatedly shouted, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” which is the usual police procedure before firing a stun gun. While Wright can be seen in the video getting into his car and driving away, the officer shouted, “Holy s***! I just shot him.”
Wright, who was fatally wounded, crashed his car a few blocks away.
“As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s command, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said in a statement. “This appears to me from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
The officer, who was later identified as Kim Potter, was placed on administrative leave.
Meanwhile, hundreds of angry protesters gathered in Brooklyn Center as Wright’s death sparked renewed outrage as the trial of Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd continues in Minneapolis.
“What will it take for law enforcement to stop killing people of color?” he said.