The parents of the 20-year-old black man shot dead by a veteran police officer during a traffic stop in Minneapolis say they are refusing to accept that the cop accidentally fired her gun instead of her taser.
Daunte Wright was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter on Sunday after he was pulled over for what police said were expired license plate tags.
Police said a struggle broke out when they tried to arrest Wright after running his name and realizing he had an outstanding warrant.
Authorities have not confirmed the nature of the warrant but court records show Wright was being sought after failing to appear in court last month on misdemeanor charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police last June.
His aunt has said the warrant was for marijuana possession.
The city’s police chief on Monday described the shooting as ‘an accidental discharge’ and said the veteran officer had mistakenly fired her gun instead of a taser.
In an interview with Good Morning America on Tuesday, Wright’s parents Katie and Aubrey said they could not accept their son’s death was a mistake.
‘I cannot accept that. I lost my son, he’s never coming back. I can’t accept a mistake, that doesn’t even sound right,’ Aubrey said.
‘This officer has been on the force for 26 years.’
Daunte Wright’s parents Katie and Aubrey said they could not accept their son’s death was a mistake after police revealed Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter accidentally fired her gun instead of her taser
Daunte Wright (left with his son) was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter (right) on Sunday after he was pulled over for what police said were expired license plate tags
Wright’s mother added that she wants Potter to be held accountable for ‘everything she’s taken from us’.
His aunt, Naisha Wright, had earlier called for Potter to be jailed for ‘not knowing the difference between a fully loaded pistol and a taser’.
‘Accident? An accident? No, come on now! I own a 20,000 volt taser. They don’t feel nothing like a gun,’ she told CNN.
‘My family’s blood is on their hands.’
Wright’s shooting death sparked violent protests and unrest in the city that is already on edge because of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death.
Protests also broke out in New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Portland and Seattle.
The unrest continued for a second night just hours after the Hennepin County medical examiner ruled Wright’s death as a homicide and said the cause was a gunshot wound to the chest.
It came after Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon held a tense press conference on Monday afternoon where he said ‘an accidental discharge’ appeared to be the cause of Wright’s death.
Wright was shot dead on Sunday afternoon after he and his girlfriend were pulled over during a traffic stop for what police say was an expired car registration.
The officers then learned Wright, who has a toddler son, had the outstanding warrant against him.
Gannon released footage of the incident from Potter’s bodycam that showed her and two other officers approaching Wright’s car after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop.
The footage showed one officer trying to handcuff Wright as a second officer told him he was being arrested on a warrant. Wright immediately jumped back into his car in an apparent attempt to flee.
A struggle then broke out between the officers and Wright, who was still sitting inside his car.
Police body cam footage of the fatal incident showed three officers approaching Daunte Wright’s car in Brooklyn Center on Sunday after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop
Potter could be heard shouting ‘Taser!’ several times in the moments before she fired her gun. Immediately after, she can be heard saying: ‘I shot him’. It appears she dropped her gun in the aftermath
‘I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!’ Potter could be heard shouting in her bodycam video.
Immediately after, Potter can be heard saying: ‘Holy sh*t. I shot him’.
Wright managed to drive several blocks before coming to a stop when he hit another car. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his girlfriend, who was a passenger in the car, sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
‘This was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr Wright,’ Gannon said.
‘As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser, but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet.
‘For informational purposes we train with our handguns on our dominant side, and our taser on our weak side. If you’re right-handed you carry your firearm on your right side and your carry your taser on the left. This is done purposefully, and it’s trained.’
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is the agency investigating Wright’s death.
Potter has been placed on administrative duty.
Brooklyn City Mayor Mike Elliott said during the press conference that the officer should be fired.
‘My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession,’ Elliott said, adding he fully supported relieving the officer of her duties.
His comments were in contrast to City Manager Curt Boganey, who was in charge of the police department, after he said he wanted due process to play out before passing judgment on the officer’s actions.
Boganey was fired by the town’s City Council in an emergency meeting on Monday.
Elliott now oversees the police department.
Police clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department on Monday. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death Sunday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as ‘an accidental discharge.’ It happened as police were trying to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant
A demonstrator is arrested by police for violating curfew and an order to disperse during a protest against the police shooting of Daunte Wright, late Monday
Protesters throw fireworks towards police as they gather outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department a day after Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Monday
A Dollar Tree store that was looted has its sprinklers turned on. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz had announced a curfew from 7 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday for the three counties that include Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis and the capital of St. Paul. But hundreds of protesters defied that order and were seen gathered in the city Monday evening