A Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police shooting during a traffic stop is igniting growing protests in a state already reeling from the George Floyd death. The man shot by police was identified by his family as Daunte Wright.
The officer was named as Kim Potter, the police union president. You can read more about her here.
The police chief, in a dramatic news conference in which he played body cam footage, said that Wright was stopped for having expired tags on his vehicle. The officer then noted an air freshener, but it wasn’t the reason for the stop.
The Chief, Tim Gannon, revealed that the police officer, a female officer who was not yet named, had accidentally shot Wright, erroneously thinking that she was using her taser. He said there was no gun found in Wright’s car. The mayor of Brooklyn Center called for the officer’s resignation. She is on administrative duty.
Gannon said that Wright was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant. He said that social media rumors that the officer committed suicide are not true. You can watch the body cam video here.
The latest police shooting comes as Minnesota is grappling with the Derek Chauvin trial, raising tensions. The Brooklyn Center Police Department said in an initial news release that a Brooklyn Center police officer shot a man in a traffic stop but didn’t name him. They named the deceased man as Wright in the April 12 news conference.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, relatives first identified Wright, 20, a father of a 2 year old. Crowds gathered in Brooklyn Center. Wright’s mother claimed that he was stopped because he had an air freshener hanging in his car, Minnesota journalist Nina Moini wrote on Twitter, but police deny that.
Family members say 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center this afternoon after being pulled over for displaying an air freshener from his rearview mirror in his mother’s car. @MPRnews pic.twitter.com/mPq8tnmjaZ
— Nina Moini (@ninamoini) April 12, 2021
Videos from the scene showed people jumping on the roof of a police and shouting “f*** the police.”
Happening now in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota following an officer-involved shooting:
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) April 12, 2021
Photos also captured the damage to the squad.
Here’s what you need to know:
Authorities Say the Driver Had an Outstanding Warrant & ‘Re-entered the Vehicle’ as They Tried to Arrest Him
— Jeml756 (@jeml756) April 12, 2021
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension wrote on Twitter that there was an officer-involved shooting, and they said it was in Brooklyn Center in their tweet.
“BCA agents and crime scene personnel are en route to an officer involved shooting incident in Brooklyn Center. More information to come,” they wrote. They’re the investigating agency.
BCA agents and crime scene personnel are en route to an officer involved shooting incident in Brooklyn Center. More information to come.
— Minnesota BCA (@MnDPS_BCA) April 11, 2021
The name of the officer has not been released. Scanner traffic indicated a person was found dead just before 2 p.m. on April 11, 2021.
Brooklyn Center police gave some details in a press release.
They wrote that Brooklyn Center Police Department officers “initiated a stop for a traffic violation in the area of the 6300 block of Orchard Ave. in Brooklyn Center shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday.”
Mother Katie Wright sent me this photo of her son with her grandson Daunte Jr. He’ll be 2 years old in July. pic.twitter.com/w07STKOmks
— Kim Hyatt (@kimvhyatt) April 11, 2021
Officers determined the driver had an outstanding warrant. “At one point as officers were attempting to take the driver into custody, the driver re-entered the vehicle.”
“One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver. The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle,” wrote police.
Officers in pursuit and responding medical personnel attempted life saving measures, but Wright died at the scene. Authorities are not releasing his name until a preliminary autopsy and family notification.
There was a female passenger in the car who sustained non life-threatening injuries during the crash. She was transported to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale. Occupants of the vehicle that was struck during the crash were not uninjured, police wrote.
It’s believed body worn cameras and dash cameras were activated, although those haven’t been released yet. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.
There was no mention of whether the driver had a weapon himself.
An Officer Was Also Injured & Wright’s Mother Says He Was Taking His Car to Get Washed
— Dave Peterlinz (@DPet_KARE11News) April 11, 2021
The Star Tribune reported that a police officer was injured and taken to the hospital, according to dispatch audio. However, it was not yet clear what that officer’s condition was or how the injuries were caused.
Police in riot gear were at the scene, and crowds were angry.
LIVE: Riot cops are confronting a grieving community after police just shot and killed 20-year-old Duante Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota – close to Minneapolis https://t.co/0UbBbTOfP6
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) April 12, 2021
Nicole Neri, a freelance photojournalist, wrote on Twitter, “Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop around 2pm today. Im here at the scene, where several dozen people are chanting and holding space at the police line.”
Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop around 2pm today. Im here at the scene, where several dozen people are chanting and holding space at the police line pic.twitter.com/MgF3UIiv1G
— Nicole Neri (@nicolehneri) April 12, 2021
Tim Nelson, of Wisconsin Public Radio, wrote on Twitter, “Katie Wright says her son, Daunte was killed in Brooklyn Center a shooting involving police. She said he was taking his new car to get it washed when an encounter with police apparently turned fatal Sunday afternoon.”
Wright’s sister told Minnesota media outlet Unicorn Riot, “He was so goofy. He just makes everybody happy. They took my brother away from me. … I’m so hurt, they really just took him. … I still can’t believe it. I’m still feeling like I’m going to go home and see him. It really hurts.”
READ NEXT: Learn More About Daunte Wright.