[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A 20-year-old Black man was shot to death by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Sunday, after a traffic stop gone horribly wrong.
The fatal shooting of Daunte Wright was captured on body cameras worn by the officer, according to the city’s police chief.
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It all started late Sunday afternoon when Wright was pulled over for a traffic violation, which was reportedly expired tags, according to CNN. Wright’s own mother alleged in a separate interview that he was pulled over because he “had air fresheners hanging from his mirrors.”
Regardless, news reports claim that a warrant was out for Wright’s arrest at that time, and so officers went to pull him out of the car to handcuff him and take him into custody. At some point, he tried to get back into his car and drive away, after which the officer attempting to handcuff him reached for her gun.
In the body camera video showed on Monday morning by Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon, the officer can be heard yelling “Taser, Taser, Taser,” which is standard procedure for officers deploying the stun device to subdue a person. Only she didn’t pull out her taser — she pulled out her gun.
After firing one shot at Wright, she confirmed on video that “I just shot him.” Wright attempted to continue driving from there, but crashed his car several blocks away, and was later pronounced dead even after paramedics “attempted life-saving measures,” according to ABC News.
News conference video from Gannon’s Monday morning presser was shared around social media in the hours after it happened. During the news conference, Gannon confirmed the facts as reported and explained what he termed as an “accidental discharge” by the officer to be the cause of the shooting, as you can see (below):
Fire the officer NOW. Pull all officers off the field and retrain them NOW. Law enforcement should be able to tell the difference between a taser and a gun.
This is what we mean when we say police reform.
— Heather Gardner (@heathergtv) April 12, 2021
An accidental discharge of that nature is just… wow.
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News of Wright’s death has understandably sparked protests and anger in the area around the Minnesota town. Sunday night, city officials declared an overnight curfew in an attempt to curb the public’s outrage. Authorities in the nearby larger cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have since declared extended overnight curfews for Monday night, as well.
The officer involved in the fatal shooting has been placed on administrative leave.
At that same news conference alongside Chief Gannon, Brooklyn center Mayor Mike Elliott said (below):
“[I will do everything] to ensure justice is done for Daunte Wright. Our hearts are aching right now, we are in pain right now. We recognize this couldn’t have happened at a worse time. This is happening at a time that all of our community, all of America, indeed all of the world is watching.”
That last part isn’t hyperbole, either.
As you likely know, the trial of Derek Chauvin — the Minneapolis police officer who infamously knelt on George Floyd‘s neck as the latter man died — is going on right now, too.
Here’s more on the tragic Wright shooting (below):
And the body camera footage from the incident has also been released. It is graphic and tragic, so be warned, but if you want to see a replay of the incident as it unfolded, it is HERE.
Such a terrible, heartbreaking tragedy. Where does our society go from here? When will this end?
[Image via CBS News/YouTube]