Daunte Wright was a twenty-year-old Black man and father living in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Wright was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop on Sunday.
Police confirmed that Wright was unarmed at the time of the incident and that there was no weapon found in the vehicle after it was recovered. Conservative news outlet reports state that Wright was pulled over for having an outstanding warrant, but those searches occur after a vehicle is stopped. Police have not released information regarding the nature of the outstanding warrant.
Body Camera Footage Shows Daunte’s Killing
Body cam footage of the incident shows Wright trying to jump back into his car while a Black male officer attempts to handcuff him.
In the video, a white female officer, whom the Brooklyn Center police chief declined to identify, walks toward Dante and grabs his arm. As Daunte re-enters the vehicle, the white officer pulls out her handgun and yells “I’ll tase him!”
The officer then leans forward and points the handgun into the car. She aims at Daunte’s torso and pulls the trigger at close range. After she fires, Daunte slumps forward slightly onto the steering wheel and the car accelerates away.
The White officer steps backward as the car drives off and appears to ask her fellow officers “did I shoot him?”
Tasers are often bright yellow to help ensure officers do not confuse it for their handgun.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon classified the incident as “an accidental discharge”. He declined to say if the officer would be terminated. Gannon instead said the officer should be afforded “the same due process” all other officers receive when confronting disciplinary issues.
This same due process was not afforded to Daunte Wright.
Last night, hundreds of individuals took to the streets in protest as news of Wright’s death spread. Police and residents expect protests to continue tonight in Brooklyn Center and across the Minneapolis area. The city was the epicenter of protests following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers last May.
Tensions are running high in the area as the trial of Derek Chauvin continues for a third week.