Daunte Wright shooting: Live updates from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
(FOX 9) - The shooting of Daunte Wright has led to multiple days of protests, violence and looting in the Twin Cities metro. The shooting comes in the middle of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd. The Brooklyn Center Police Department released body camera video on Monday, saying that the officer involved believed she was reaching for her taser and instead fired her gun.
Officer Kim Potter resigned Tuesday, along with Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon.
Kim Potter charges expected Wednesday
The Washington County Attorney says he is reviewing the Kim Potter case file Tuesday and charges are expected Wednesday.
Why was Daunte Wright pulled over?
The incident started shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday on the 6300 block of Orchard Avenue in Brooklyn Center. Officers stopped a vehicle for expired tabs and learned the driver, Wright, had a warrant for a gross misdemeanor. They tried to arrest him, but he got back into his vehicle. At that point, the officer fired her gun, hitting Wright, who then drove several blocks before crashing into another car.
Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. A woman in the car was hurt in the crash, but is expected to survive.
Daunte Wright shooting video
Bodycam footage showed the moments leading up to the deadly shooting, including when Potter yelled, "Taser, Taser," before shooting her gun. The Brooklyn Center Police Chief said Monday that he believes she mistook her gun for her Taser.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the deadly shooting. Additionally, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman stated that any charging decision will be handled by the Washington County Attorney's Office.
A photo of Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old who was shot and killed by police in Brooklyn Center April 11. (Dallas Wright)
Who is the officer?
The police officer who shot Daunte Wright was identified by the Minnesota BCA as Kim Potter. In a release, the BCA said Potter has been with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 26 years. She was placed under standard administrative leave and then resigned Tuesday.
Brooklyn Center, MN., Thursday, 5/31/2007. Officer Kim Potter, part of the Brooklyn Center Police negotiation team. (Photo by Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images) ((Photo by Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images) / Getty Images)
According to state records, Potter also served as a LEMA Honor Guard Leadership Team member as a Casket Lieutenant. A Hennepin County Attorney’s Office report from August 2020 lists Potter as the head of the Brooklyn Center Police Union at that time.
Who was Daunte Wright?
The family of Daunte Wright expressed their grief Tuesday at a news conference alongside the family of George Floyd
Family members described Daunte Wright, 20, as beloved son, grandson, brother and father.
His mother, Katie Wright, said Daunte was her life.
"He had a smile that was angelic, he lit up the room, he was funny," she told the crowd at a vigil Monday night. "He was an amazing son. He will truly be missed by everybody."
Katie was on the phone with her son moments before he was shot and killed. She heard the officers telling him to hang up the phone. "I never imagined this is what was going to happen. I just thought he was being arrested," she said.
Daunte leaves behind a son, Daunte Jr., who is about to turn two years old.
"I feel like they stole my son’s dad from him," Daunte Jr.’s mother, Chyna Whittaker, said.
READ MORE: How to help Daunte Wright’s family
Daunte’s family expressed their grief and anger Tuesday during a joint news conference with the family of George Floyd Tuesday. The families spoke outside the Hennepin County Courthouse, where the Derek Chauvin trial is taking place.
Daunte’s aunt, Naisha Wright, said the two families have a connection, that Floyd’s girlfriend was her nephew’s former teacher.
"He was loved. He was ours," Naisha said.
Protests, violence in metro
Protesters started gathering at the scene of the deadly shooting just minutes after it happened Sunday, leading to some tense moments. Some protesters even damaged squad cars. Police fired rubber bullets and deployed flash bangs and tear gas on the crowds. The National Guard was also called in Sunday night and has remained in the metro area.
The protests began again Monday night, despite curfew orders, leading to the arrest of 40 people. Several businesses in Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis also reported looting and damage.
The world is watching
Gov. Tim Walz offered condolences to the family of Daunte Wright and noted its timing during the Chauvin trial. After Floyd's death sparked protests and violence last summer, the governor made extra calls for peace as well as reform.
"As the world’s watching during the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, emotions and trauma are high in our state," he said. "We can either come together to fix this or we can suffer together as fools," he said.
Additionally, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter denounced the shooting and called for peace in their cities. Mayor Frey called the Brooklyn Center officer's action "a careless and tragic mistake in a profession where that just can't happen."
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter questioned how an officer can mistake a gun for a taser in the first place.
EXPLAINER: How does an officer use a gun instead of a Taser?