Tag Archives: Daunte

Daunte Wright funeral: Rev. Al Sharpton delivers eulogy at Minneapolis service

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Daunte Wright, the young Black man shot by police during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis, was not “just some kid with an air freshener,” but a “prince” whose life ended too soon at the hands of police, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Thursday during an emotional funeral.

Hundreds of people wearing COVID-19 masks packed into Shiloh Temple International Ministries to remember Wright, a 20-year-old father of one who was shot by a white police officer on April 11 in the small city of Brooklyn Center. The funeral was held just two days after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in the death of George Floyd and amid a national reckoning on racism and policing.

“The absence of justice is the absence of peace,” said Sharpton, who delivered a thundering eulogy. “You can’t tell us to shut up and suffer. We must speak up when there is an injustice.”

Sharpton’s eulogy included a stinging rebuke of the possibility that Wright was pulled over for having air fresheners dangling from his mirror. Wright’s mother has said that her son called her after he was stopped and told her that was why he had been pulled over. Police say it was for expired registration.

“We come today as the air fresheners for Minnesota,” Sharpton said, vowing that changes in federal law were coming. “We’re trying to get the stench of police brutality out of the atmosphere. We’re trying to get the stench of racism out of the atmosphere. We’re trying to get the stench of racial profiling out of the atmosphere.”

MORE: Here’s what we know about Kim Potter, the officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright

“We come to Minnesota as air fresheners because your air is to odorous for us to breathe,” he said.” We can’t breathe in your stinking air no more!”

Brooklyn Center’s police chief said it appeared from body camera video that the officer who shot Wright used her pistol when she meant to use her Taser as Wright struggled with police. The 26-year veteran, Kim Potter, is charged with second-degree manslaughter. Both she and the chief resigned after the shooting.

Ben Crump, attorney for both the Floyd and Wright families who has called for more serious charges against Potter, said Wright’s son “is going to get old enough to watch that video of how his father was slain so unnecessarily. A misdemeanor, a misdemeanor.”

“It’s too often the traffic stops end up as deadly sentences, a death sentence. We’re going to have to make sure that Daunte Jr. know that we stood up for Daunte, his father.”

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke about her son, saying, “The roles should be completely reversed. My son should be burying me,” before burying her hands in her face.

Wright recalled her son becoming a father to a boy born prematurely: “He was so happy and so proud, and he said he couldn’t wait to make his son proud. Junior was the joy of his life. He lived for him every single day.”

SEE ALSO: Daunte Wright’s parents ‘can’t accept’ traffic stop shooting that killed son was a mistake

Funeral attendees were brought to their feet when artist Ange Hillz painted a portrait of Wright – white paint on a black canvas – as trumpeter Keyon Harrold played “Amazing Grace” and “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” the Black national anthem.

And during a silent reading of Wright’s obituary, some attendees could be heard crying softly.

The families of several other Black people killed by police attended Wright’s funeral, including the mothers of Philando Castile, who was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb in 2016, and Eric Garner, who was filmed saying “I can’t breathe” in a fatal 2014 encounter with New York City police.

Also attending were the families of Oscar Grant, killed in 2009 by a California transit officer who mistook his service weapon for a stun gun, similar to the Wright case, and of Emmett Till, the teenager whose 1955 lynching in Mississippi helped spark the civil rights movement, as well as the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by white Louisville, Kentucky, officers in March 2020 as they served a warrant.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also attended.

“True justice is not done as long as having expired tags means losing your life during a traffic stop,” Klobuchar said. “True justice is not done as long as a chokehold, the knee on the neck or a no-knock warrant is considered legitimate policing.”

More than a dozen members from an armed team of local men, the Minnesota Freedom Fighters, provided security.

SEE ALSO: How does an officer use a gun instead of a Taser?

Wright’s killing occurred when a scuffle broke out as police tried to arrest Wright, after realizing he had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court on charges of fleeing police and having a gun without a permit.

It set off protests in Brooklyn Center, a working-class, majority nonwhite city, with hundreds of people gathering every night for a week outside the city’s heavily guarded police station. While the mayor called for law enforcement and protesters to scale back their tactics, the nights often ended with demonstrators lobbing water bottles and rocks at the officers, and law enforcement responding with pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Daunte Wright shooting: Former officer Kim Potter to be charged with second-degree manslaughter

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — A prosecutor said Wednesday that he will charge a white former suburban Minneapolis police officer with second-degree manslaughter for killing 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright in a shooting that ignited days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police.The charge against former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter will be filed Wednesday, three days after Wright was killed during a traffic stop and as the nearby murder trial progresses for the ex-officer charged with killing George Floyd last May, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said.

The former Brooklyn Center police chief has said that Potter, a 26-year veteran and training officer, intended to use her Taser on Wright but fired her handgun instead. However, protesters and Wright’s family members say there’s no excuse for the shooting and it shows how the justice system is tilted against Blacks, noting Wright was stopped for expired car registration and ended up dead.MORE: Here’s what we know about Kim Potter, the officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright

Intent isn’t a necessary component of second-degree manslaughter in Minnesota. The charge – which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison – can be applied in circumstances where a person is suspected of causing a death by “culpable negligence” that creates an unreasonable risk or consciously takes chances to cause the death of a person.

Asked how he arrived at the charging decision, Orput said: “I think it’ll be evident when you read the complaint,” which was not yet available.

Potter, 48, was arrested Wednesday morning at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul. Her attorney did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.

She was released from jail Wednesday evening after posting $ 100,000 bail.

Potter and Police Chief Tim Gannon both resigned Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: How does an officer use a gun instead of a Taser?

Concrete barricades and tall metal fencing had been set up around Potter’s home in Champlin, north of Brooklyn Center, with police cars guarding the driveway. After Floyd’s death last year, protesters demonstrated several times at the home of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer now on trial in Floyd’s death.

Police say Wright was pulled over for expired tags on Sunday, but they sought to arrest him after discovering he had an outstanding warrant. The warrant was for his failure to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.

Body camera video that Gannon released Monday shows Potter approaching Wright as he stands outside of his car as another officer is arresting him.

As Wright struggles with police, Potter shouts, “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing a single shot from her handgun.Wright family attorney Ben Crump said the family appreciates the criminal case, but he again disputed that the shooting was accidental, arguing that an experienced officer knows the difference between a Taser and a handgun.

“Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanor warrant,” he said.

Experts say cases of officers mistakenly firing their gun instead of a Taser are rare, usually less than once a year nationwide.

SEE ALSO: Daunte Wright called his mother right before he was shot. This is what he said

Transit officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison after responding to a fight at a train station in Oakland, California, killing 22-year-old Oscar Grant in 2009. Mehserle testified at trial that he mistakenly pulled his .40-caliber handgun instead of his stun gun.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a white volunteer sheriff’s deputy, Robert Bates, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter after accidentally firing his handgun when he meant to deploy his stun gun on Eric Harris, a Black man who was being held down by other officers in 2015.

Potter was an instructor with the Brooklyn Center police, according to the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. She was training two other officers when they stopped Wright, the association’s leader, Brian Peters, told the Star Tribune.

In her one-paragraph letter of resignation, Potter said, “I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.”

MORE: Family of George Floyd vows to fight alongside Daunte Wright’s family

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said Tuesday that he hoped Potter’s resignation would “bring some calm to the community,” but that he would keep working toward “full accountability under the law.”Police and protesters faced off again after nightfall Tuesday, with hundreds of demonstrators once more gathering at Brooklyn Center’s heavily guarded police headquarters, now ringed by concrete barriers and a tall metal fence, and where police in riot gear and National Guard soldiers stood watch.

About 90 minutes before a 10 p.m. curfew, state police announced over a loudspeaker that the gathering had been declared unlawful and ordered the crowds to disperse. That set off confrontations, with protesters launching fireworks toward the station and throwing objects at officers, who launched flashbangs and gas grenades, then marched in a line to force back the crowd.

State police said the dispersal order came before the curfew because protesters were trying to take down the fencing and throwing rocks at police. The number of protesters plummeted over the next hour, until only a few remained. Police also ordered all media to leave.

Brooklyn Center, a suburb just north of Minneapolis, has seen its racial demographics shift dramatically in recent years. In 2000, more than 70% of the city was white. Today, a majority of residents are Black, Asian or Hispanic.

Elliott said Tuesday that he didn’t have at hand information on the police force’s racial diversity but that “we have very few people of color in our department.”

___

Bauer contributed from Madison, Wisconsin. Associated Press writers Doug Glass and Mohamed Ibrahim in Minneapolis; Tim Sullivan in Brooklyn Center; and Stephen Groves in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, contributed to this report.

___

This story has been updated to correct the name of the leader of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association to Brian Peters, instead of Bill Peters.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

AP

This article originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Daunte Wright Spent Final Moments Talking With His Mother

MINNEAPOLIS — Daunte Wright called his mother. The tremble in his voice told her something was wrong. The police had stopped him, he told her nervously.

“He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice,” said his mother, Katie Wright.

She tried to keep him calm, as he spoke with her on the phone on Sunday while he was being pulled over in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.

He had told her the reason for the traffic stop had something to do with the air fresheners dangling from the rearview mirror, and she asked him to take them down and to let her speak with the officers over the phone.

Mr. Wright, 20, she said, asked the officers, “Am I in trouble?” Then Ms. Wright heard scuffling and a woman screaming in the background. The call dropped abruptly, and Ms. Wright feared that her son had become another victim of police brutality in America.

Credit…Ben Crump Law

Before Sunday, Mr. Wright had been a young Black man unknown to the world, but known and loved by his friends and relatives in the Minneapolis area. He was a young father of a toddler who was almost 2, Daunte Jr. He loved basketball. As a freshman at Thomas Edison High School, he was voted a “class clown.”

But in the moments that his mother overheard in horror, her fears were realized, Ms. Wright said on Tuesday on “Good Morning America” and at a news conference in Minneapolis. Her son was shot by the police in what officials described as an accidental discharge, after a veteran white officer pulled and fired her firearm instead of her Taser as officers tried to handcuff him. Like Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and George Floyd, Mr. Wright’s name and life have become both a chant and symbol, and in the small universe of the Twin Cities region, the police killings of Black men share tragic connections.

Mr. Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, was one of Mr. Wright’s former teachers, his family said.

“This was the worst day of my life,” Ms. Wright said during a news conference outside a Minneapolis courthouse on Tuesday.

Moments earlier, Ms. Ross had wrapped her arms around Ms. Wright. Ms. Ross, who delivered tearful testimony this month in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing Mr. Floyd, led a small crowd in a prayer circle. But the sight of family members of at least six Black men killed at the hands of the police and a relative of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old whose lynching remains one of the nation’s most gruesome hate crimes, overwhelmed her and she left in tears.

Mr. Wright’s family said the young father did not have to suffer the same fate.

“He was loved. He was ours. This is no broken family,” said an aunt, Naisha Wright.

He was remembered as a dedicated father with a bright smile and outgoing demeanor. The mother of his son, Chyna Whitaker, said in a Facebook post that the two had been amicably sharing custody of the child.

Mr. Wright attended Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis in 2018, said the school principal, Yusuf Abdullah.

“He was just like any other kid,” Mr. Abdullah said.

He had also attended Edison High School in Minneapolis, where he was voted class clown as a freshman, according to the school’s 2015-16 yearbook.

“He loved to make people laugh,” said Emajay Driver, a friend of Mr. Wright. “He was just great to be around. There was never a dull moment.”

Tenzing Chime, 21, of Minneapolis, recalled befriending Mr. Wright when they were basketball teammates at Northeast Middle School. Later, at Edison High, Mr. Wright played on both the ninth-grade and junior varsity teams.

Mr. Wright, Mr. Chime recalled, “really wanted to win, and after we lost we’d be upset.” “Not at other people, but at ourselves,” he continued. “He loved playing sports.”

Mario Greer, a cousin, said Mr. Wright was also a sensitive soul who enjoyed lighting Roman candles with him.

“I didn’t get the chance to tell my cousin I love him,” Mr. Greer said, holding back tears. “I got to go every holiday now without my cousin, my baby cousin.”

Family members created a GoFundMe page to raise money for his burial, and by Tuesday afternoon nearly $ 500,000 had been raised. Kristie Bryant, one of Mr. Wright’s aunts who helped draw attention to the page, wrote on Facebook, “I never imagined this happening to someone in our family.”

The police said that Mr. Wright was stopped on Sunday because of an expired registration tag, and that the officers noticed something dangling from the rearview mirror after they pulled him over. There was an arrest warrant for Mr. Wright after he missed a court hearing on two misdemeanor charges that he had illegally possessed a pistol and fled from Minneapolis police officers in June.

In a graphic clip of body camera video from Sunday’s traffic stop, police officers are seen outside the vehicle trying to detain Mr. Wright, who suddenly moves back into his seat as a struggle ensued. Officer Kimberly A. Potter, a 26-year veteran of the department who resigned on Tuesday, then pointed a weapon in his direction and yelled, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” The authorities said she fired a gun instead.

On Tuesday, Ms. Wright described to reporters the excruciating moments on the phone with her son before he was killed. After she lost the connection, she said, she tried calling him back repeatedly. But there was no answer.

Finally her phone rang again. It was a FaceTime call from a young woman who had been sitting in the passenger seat during the traffic stop, she recalled. A horrified Ms. Wright watched a live video image of her dead son, slumped on the driver’s seat.

An autopsy revealed that Mr. Wright died after he was struck by a single bullet in the chest.

“My son was laying there, unresponsive,” she said in tears outside the courthouse. “That’s the last time I have seen my son and that’s the last time I have heard from my son. And I have had no explanation since then.”

Andrés R. Martínez reported from Minneapolis, and Edgar Sandoval from San Antonio. Matt Furber, Eric Killelea and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs contributed reporting from Minneapolis.

Andrés R. Martínez and Edgar Sandoval
This article originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Daunte Wright called his mother right before he was shot. This is what he said

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — Moments before he was killed, Daunte Wright called his mother and told her he got pulled over. She had no idea it would be the last time she would speak with her son.The 20-year-old needed to get insurance information, his mother Katie Wright said.

“I said OK, when the police officer comes back to the window, put him on the phone and I can give him all our insurance information,” she said.

“A second goes by, and I hear the police officer come back up to the window and ask Daunte to get out of the car. Daunte asked, ‘For what?’ The police officer said, ‘I’ll explain to you when you get out of the car.'”

The mother said she could hear the police and her son struggling.

RELATED: Daunte Wright’s parents ‘can’t accept’ traffic stop shooting that killed son was a mistake

“Then the police officer asked him to hang up the phone,” Katie Wright said. “Three or four seconds went by. I tried calling back to back to back because I didn’t know what was going on.”

At worst, she thought, maybe he was getting arrested. She soon saw it was much worse.

“When I called back, the girl that he had in the car answered the phone, and it was on FaceTime. And she was crying and screaming and said that they shot him. And then she pointed the phone towards the driver’s seat and my son was laying there, unresponsive. That was the last time that I seen my son,” she said, sobbing.

“That’s the last time I heard from my son. And I’ve had no explanation since then.”

Police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, said Wright was initially pulled over Sunday afternoon for an expired tag.

Bodycam footage shows that after Wright stepped out of the car and then got back in, an officer said she was going to use a Taser on him.

But instead of shooting a Taser, Officer Kim Potter fired a handgun, screaming “Oh sh*t! I shot him!” as Wright was mortally wounded.

Both the officer and the police chief have resigned. A toddler is now fatherless. And the Minneapolis area, already grappling with the death of George Floyd, now mourns another death of a man during a police encounter.

‘They stole my son’s dad from him’

Wright leaves behind a young son, Daunte Wright Jr., who was supposed to see his dad to celebrate his upcoming 2nd birthday.

“Now my son, he don’t have a dad,” said the boy’s mother, Chyna Whitaker.

“His dad won’t get to see him for his 2nd birthday or for any of his birthdays. And I’m just so messed up about it because I feel like they stole my son’s dad from him.”

‘How do we put life back together after this?’

Naisha Wright made the cross-country road trip from her home in Alabama to Minnesota after learning about her nephew’s death.

“My nephew was 20 years old. I don’t care what nobody got to say about him. He was loved,” Naisha Wright said, acknowledging the strong family built by the young man’s parents.

“This is no broken home. This is 23 years of love.”

But now, the family has been shattered after Wright’s death.

“How do we put life back together after this?” Naisha Wright asked. “My mother shouldn’t have to be burying her grandchild. My brother and my sister shouldn’t be burying their son.”

‘I can’t accept that … mistake’

The explanation that Wright was killed accidentally gives zero comfort to his family.

“I cannot accept that. I lost my son. He’s never coming back,” Wright’s father Aubrey Wright told ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday.

“I can’t accept that … mistake. That doesn’t even sound right. You know, this officer has been on the force for 26-plus years. I can’t accept that.”The case is being investigated by an independent agency, and it’s not clear if Potter will be charged.

Katie Wright said she “would like to see justice served and her held accountable for everything she’s taken from us.”

George Floyd’s family offers support to the Wrights

Wright’s death stirred painful memories for many Minnesotans, including the family of George Floyd. The former Minneapolis officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes, Derek Chauvin, is currently on trial.

On Tuesday, Floyd’s family left the trial to meet with the Wright family outside the Minneapolis courthouse.

“They thought it was important that they give comfort to Dante Wright’s mother” and family, said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Wright family.

Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, told the Wright family “we will stand in support with you.”

“The world is traumatized, watching another African American man being slayed,” Philonise Floyd said.

“I woke up in the morning with this on my mind. I don’t want to see another victim,” he said.

“It’s a time for change, and that time is now.”

CNNWire

This article originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Daunte Wright Was Training Others

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — Officer Kimberly A. Potter was in the midst of a routine training day on Sunday, demonstrating her decades of policing know-how to less experienced officers in the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

But that training came to an abrupt and horrifying end when Officer Potter, who is white, shot Daunte Wright, a Black 20-year-old man, in his car as he tried to avoid arrest. Body camera video shows that the officer shouted “Taser!” while pointing a handgun at Mr. Wright, who was unarmed; she then fired a single round into his chest, killing him, in what the authorities in Minnesota have described as a deadly mistake.

Credit…Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune, via Getty Images

With protests unfolding each night in Brooklyn Center, Officer Potter, a veteran officer of 26 years, and Tim Gannon, the department’s police chief, both resigned their posts on Tuesday. The abrupt departures came a day after the city manager who oversaw the department was fired, and as the city of 30,000 residents remained boarded up; National Guard troops stood with guns outside of the city’s police station, which has been the center of nightly clashes.

Outside of Officer Potter’s home in another Minneapolis suburb on Tuesday morning, police officers looked on as workers placed concrete barriers and black metal fencing all around the home, fortifying it in a fashion similar to the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, where Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis officer who had trained younger officers, is on trial in the death of George Floyd.

Officer Potter, with her decades on the force, was acting as a training officer, assigned to guide less experienced colleagues on Sunday night, a spokeswoman for the police union that represents her said, when Mr. Wright was pulled over for an expired registration on his car.

The union that represents Officer Potter declined to comment on the events that followed, and her lawyer, Earl Gray, said that she did not wish to talk. City officials did not respond to requests for her employment records.

In 1995, she was first licensed as a police officer in Minnesota and took a job with the Brooklyn Center police. Officer Potter, 48, was the president of the police union in recent years, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Officer Potter graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, a small Catholic school, in 1994 with a criminal justice major, a school official said.

There is no indication in available records that she had shot anyone before. She was the police union president in August 2019, when she was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene after two Brooklyn Center police officers shot and killed Kobe Dimock-Heisler, 21.

A report later concluded that Mr. Dimock-Heisler, who was described as mentally ill, had lunged at a police officer with a knife during a domestic disturbance call. Officer Potter advised each of the officers to go into separate squad cars, turn off their body cameras and not talk to each other, according to the report last year by the Hennepin County attorney. No charges were filed in the case.

Officer Potter’s husband, Jeffrey Potter, was also a police officer, serving in the Fridley Police Department in Minnesota for 28 years until his retirement in 2017. According to a community newsletter, Mr. Potter was an instructor in the department, training officers in use of force, Taser use and crowd control.

In a letter Officer Potter sent to city officials on Tuesday, she said she had “loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.”

At a news conference announcing the departures, Mayor Mike Elliott acknowledged that of the nearly 50 police officers in the department, he knew of none who actually lived in the city they patrolled.

“We do feel very strongly that we need officers to be from the community,” Mr. Elliott said. “People want justice. They want full accountability under the law. That’s what we will continue to work for,” he said.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a state agency in Minnesota, is conducting an investigation into Mr. Wright’s shooting, and the Washington County Attorney’s Office could bring charges against her.

Mr. Elliott also called for Gov. Tim Walz to transfer the case from the Washington County Attorney’s Office to the state attorney general, Keith Ellison, whose office is prosecuting Mr. Chauvin — a move that appeared unlikely.

On Tuesday afternoon, city officials in Minneapolis and St. Paul invoked a curfew of 10 p.m., preparing for more protests in the evening.

Tony Gruenig, a commander in the Police Department who was appointed acting chief of police on Tuesday, said he had not yet formulated a plan to respond to the anger in the community. “We’re just trying to wrap our heads around the situation and try to create some calm,” he said.

For many in Brooklyn Center, though, the day’s resignations brought little hope of real change. Michelle Winters, a resident of nearby Brooklyn Park, said justice would not be served until police officers who killed people were charged as if they were civilians.

“They should charge them as they charge one of us,” said Ms. Winters, who is Black and was standing in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday, where protesters were gearing up for another night of demonstrations. No matter what the mayor does, she said, residents will not be satisfied unless the police stop killing people.

“As long as you keep doing this and doing this over again, it’s not going to get better,” she said. “I don’t care if they call in the National Guard every month, that’s not going to help anything.”

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs reported from Brooklyn Center, and Julie Bosman from Chicago. Stephanie Saul contributed reporting from Port Washington, N.Y. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Julie Bosman
This article originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Barack Obama Joins Kim K. & More Celebs As He Mourns Daunte Wright After Cop Shooting: ‘Our Hearts Are Heavy’

Following Daunte Wright’s death in which a police officer fatally shot him during a traffic stop, outraged celebs like Kim Kardashian and Halsey are demanding justice.

“Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man,” former President Barack Obama tweeted, after 20-year-old Daunte Wright from the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center was shot and killed at the hands of police on April 11. The incident occurred just 10 miles from where George Floyd was killed by another Minneapolis officer on May 25, 2020. “It’s important to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country.”

Kim Kardashian, along with her sisters Kourtney, Kendall, and Kylie, all shared messages in support of Daunte, whose killing sparked further outrage in a community where tensions are already high surrounding the trial of Derek Chauvin. The KUWTK stars took to their Instagram included links with information for legal help, how to take precautions and safety measures if you plan to protest, and how to support and donate. Halsey also posted the helpful information to her Instagram stories in show of support.

Demi Lovato also called for change as she took to Instagram and captioned a post from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) with the hashtag, “#BLACKLIVESMATTER”. She shared their important message which read: “Daunte Wright should still be alive today. It’s clear that the only way to end police violence is to immediately divest from the police.”

Daunte Wright
of Daunte Wright’s family and friends mourned in Brooklyn Center, Minn. on April 12, 2021 after he was shot and killed by police. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Daunte was pulled over for a traffic stop on April 11 by Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the department, and two other unnamed officers. She was acting as a field training officer and was training a new officer at the time. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon held a press conference the following day and released bodycam footage of the incident. He said when officers asked Daunte for his ID, they found out he had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and attempted to take him into custody.

The bodycam footage shows Daunte releasing from the officer’s grip as they began to handcuff him. He broke free and a struggle ensued, and as Daunte jumped back into his car Potter threatened to tase him. She pulled out her gun and shouted, “I’ll Tase you!” She then yelled, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” before shooting him and saying, “Holy s**t, I just shot him.”

Daunte drove away in his car and traveled several blocks before hitting another vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Tim Gannon called the shooting an “accidental discharge” and said “It is my belief that the officer had the intention to employ their taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.” Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced on April 13 that Tim Gannon and Kim Potter have both resigned.

Chelsea Handler responded to claims that Kim Potter’s shooting was “accidental”. Shortly after the press conference, she tweeted: “Stop normalizing the word ‘accident’ to describe Black people being killed by police.” The following day she added, “Why would any person of color ever comply with a police officer when there is a 50/50 shot of getting accidentally’ shot?”

Madonna added, “This video of Daunte Wright’s shooting is deeply upsetting but equally so is Police Officer Tim Gannon’s explanation of how it was all an accident. She had a taser in one hand and a hand gun in the other. She warned everyone she was going to taser a handcuffed. Daunte who was pulled over for a traffic violation and instead she shot and killed him! No way to fix this accident is there Tim??!! This is so infuriating and unacceptable. God Bless Daunte and his family. #justicefordauntewright #guncontrol

Sarah Jones
This article originally appeared on Hollywood Life

Daunte Wright shooting: Minnesota police chief says officer meant to draw Taser, not gun in fatal Brooklyn Center shooting

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — The police officer who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb apparently intended to fire a Taser, not a handgun, the city’s police chief said Monday.Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as “an accidental discharge.” The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was investigating.

“Taser! Taser! Taser!” the officer is heard shouting on her body cam footage released at a news conference. After firing a single shot from her handgun, the car speeds away and the officer is heard saying, “Holy (expletive)! I shot him.”Daunte Wright, 20, died Sunday in a metropolitan area that was already on edge because of the trial of the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death.

Gannon said at a news conference that the officer made a mistake, and he released the body camera footage less than 24 hours after the shooting. The footage showed three officers around a stopped car. When another officer attempts to handcuff Wright, a struggle ensues.

Gannon would not name the officer but described her as “very senior.” He would not say whether she would be fired following the investigation.

“I think we can watch the video and ascertain whether she will be returning,” the chief said.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott called the shooting “deeply tragic.”

“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is done and our communities are made whole,” he said.

Speaking before the unrest, Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, urged protesters to stay peaceful and focused on the loss of her son.

“All the violence, if it keeps going, it’s only going to be about the violence. We need it to be about why my son got shot for no reason,” she said to a crowd near the shooting scene in Brooklyn Center, a city of about 30,000 people on the northwest border of Minneapolis. “We need to make sure it’s about him and not about smashing police cars, because that’s not going to bring my son back.”

Protesters who gathered near the scene waved flags and signs reading “Black Lives Matter.” Others walked peacefully with their hands held up. On one street, someone wrote in multi-colored chalk: “Justice for Daunte Wright.”

Katie Wright said her son called her as he was getting pulled over.”All he did was have air fresheners in the car, and they told him to get out of the car,” Wright said. During the call, she said she heard scuffling and then someone saying “Daunte, don’t run” before the call ended. When she called back, her son’s girlfriend answered and said he had been shot.

Authorities said the car was pulled over for having expired registration and after determining the driver had an outstanding warrant, police said they tried to arrest him. Then the driver reentered the vehicle, and an officer fired, striking him, police said. The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle.

A female passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the crash, authorities said. Katie Wright said that passenger was her son’s girlfriend.

Court records show Wright was being sought after failing to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June. In that case, a statement of probable cause said police got a call about a man waving a gun who was later identified as Wright.”

Shortly after the shooting, demonstrators began to gather, with some jumping atop police cars. Marchers also descended on the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where rocks and other objects were thrown at officers, authorities said. The protesters had largely dispersed by 1:15 a.m. Monday.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting, and the White House has been in touch with the governor, mayor and local law enforcement, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“We were incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of life at the hands of law enforcement in Minnesota yesterday,” she said.

National Guard troops and law enforcement officers continued to guard the front of the police department on Monday morning. Police were erecting a concrete barrier as Minnesota State Patrol officers joined the line in front of the precinct.

Several people and reporters watched from across the street as traffic returned to normal on the street where protesters were met with tear gas the night before. One man yelled at the officers using a megaphone as others flew Black Lives Matter flags.About 20 businesses were broken into at the city’s Shingle Creek shopping center, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said at a news conference.

The National Guard was activated, and Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced a curfew that expired shortly before daybreak.

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged in Floyd’s death, continued Monday. Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck. Prosecutors say Floyd was pinned for 9 minutes, 29 seconds. he judge in that case refused Monday to sequester the jury after a defense attorney argued that the panel could be influenced by the prospect of what might happen as a result of their verdict.

More National Guard members and state law enforcement personnel were to be deployed around the Twin Cities and in Brooklyn Center in addition to teams already in place for Chauvin’s trial at the Hennepin County courthouse in Minneapolis, Harrington said.

Meanwhile, all Brooklyn Center students were to attend online classes Monday because school buildings were closed, Superintendent Carly Baker said.

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Mohamed Ibrahim is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

References

  1. ^ April 12, 2021 (twitter.com)
  2. ^ pic.twitter.com/bJYGCE5GaW (t.co)
  3. ^ April 12, 2021 (twitter.com)

AP