The Killing of Daunte Wright

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Daunte Wright, a twenty-year-old man, died after being shot by police in a metropolitan area in a Minneapolis suburb during a traffic stop and crashing his car several blocks away. His death has sparked violent protests that lasted into the early hours on Monday as officers in riot gear clashed with demonstrators.

The police department has released the bodycam footage of the incident, which has shocked the Minneapolis suburb miles from where George Floyd was killed during a police arrest last May. The body camera footage was released during a news conference showing two other officers approaching Wright’s car and the officer, Kim Potter, who fired the shot standing behind them. The shooting enforced more frustration into the city of Minneapolis since the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd is in its third week.

How the Shooting Unfold

Last Sunday afternoon, Mr. Wright was pulled over for a traffic violation related to expired registration tags. Then, the police officers have discovered that he had a warrant for his arrest.

When the police tried to detain Mr. Wright, he stepped back to his car. In a graphic body camera footage shown to reports on April 12th, one officer can be seen pointing a handgun at him and shouting “Taser.” After the car pulls away, the officer yells an obscenity and says, “I just shot him” to two other officers.

The car traveled several blocks and struck another vehicle. The police and medical workers pronounced Mr. Wright dead at the scene.

The Hennepin County medical examiner concluded Monday that Mr. Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

The mother of Daunte Wright, Katie Wright, told reporters that her son had called her as he was being pulled over.

Ms. Wright said her son had either dropped or put down the phone after she had an officer telling Mr. Wright not to run. Then, she said, someone hung up. When she had the chance to call back, a woman who was present in the car with her son answered and told her that he had been shot.

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Demonstrators Clashing with the Police

The citizens of Minnesota wanted justice for Daunte and hundreds turned out for a memorial protest at the police department in Brooklyn Center, a few miles from the scene of Wright’s death. Despite the authorities around the regions imposing curfews, the protests continued through the tough weather.

Demonstrators have met with lines of police officers in riot gear and nightsticks. The police department has allowed the police officers on the scene to use flash-bang grenades, tear gas, and foam rounds to clear the protestors. There have been damage and looting at a strip mall across the street from the police station. Nearly 40 individuals were arrested according to the authorities, many of who were cited with misdemeanor curfew violations.

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The Police Officer Who Fired the Shot was Arrested

On April 12th, officials had identified the police officer who shot Mr. Wright as Kim Potter, a twenty-six-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. As her identity has unfolded, Kim Potter has resigned from the police as well as Chief Gannon who announced his resignation from the department on April 13th.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state agency that investigates police killings in Minnesota, confirmed that Ms. Potter had been arrested and taken into custody on April 14th. Ms. Potter faces a charge of second-degree manslaughter.

VALLEY encourages everyone to remain knowledgeable on current issues happening and stand on the right side of history, which calls for justice for Daunte Wright as the case continues to progress.


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