Dramatic photos show people jumping on and damaging police squad cars after the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, shooting of Daunte Wright.
The officer was named as Kim Potter, the police union president. You can read more about her here.
Wright was shot and killed by an unnamed Brooklyn Center police officer on the afternoon of April 11, 2021, a Sunday. Police now say she thought she was using a taser and accidentally used a firearm. Unrest broke out as the night progressed, including tear gas, an unlawful assembly, and reports of looting. The squad damage came earlier in the day.
Police have not identified the officer in question , and they posted a news release that contained only a few details about what happened. Wright, 20, was named by his mother, Katie Wright, at the scene. She claimed that he was stopped because of an air freshener hanging from his car, a detail police denied.
The police chief, in a dramatic news conference in which he played body cam footage, said that Wright was actually stopped for having expired tags on his vehicle. The officer then noted the air freshener, but it wasn’t the reason for the stop. You can watch the body cam video here.
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.
“He [Duante Wright] called me at about 130. He said he was getting pulled over by the police. And I said why you getting pulled over. And he said they pulled him over because he had air freshners hanging from his rear view mirror. I said, Okay take them down,” Wright’s mom, Katie Wright, said on video.
Here’s what you need to know:
Video Captured the Car Jumping Scene
The car jumping scene was also captured on video.
Protests broke out in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, after the police shooting in a state that has had multiple controversial police-related deaths, including George Floyd, Justine Damond, and Philando Castile. A former police officer, Derek Chauvin, is on trial in Floyd’s death about 15 minutes from where the Wright police shooting happened.
Naisha Wright wrote on Facebook, “SAY HIS NAME! DUANTE WRIGHT! MY GREAT NEPHEW IS NOW FATHERLESS ALL DUE TO AIR FRESHNERS IN HIS FATHER’S WINDOW! Yall POLICE ARE HEARTLESS.”
Jasmine Marie, “Why? You were only 20!!! You were such a great cousin. You didn’t deserve this at all. I pray that we get justice for what the POLICE did to you 💔”
In a video interview, Wright’s mother told reporters: “Then I heard the police officer come to the window and say put the phone down and get out of the car and Dante said why, and he said we will explain to you when you get out of the car. I heard the phone put on the dashboard or dropped. I heard scuffling and I heard the police officer say Daunte don’t run. Another officer said put the phone down and hung it up.”
Authorities Say the Driver Had an Outstanding Warrant & ‘Re-entered the Vehicle’
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.”
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.
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.
There was no mention of whether the driver had a weapon himself.
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.
READ NEXT: Learn More About Daunte Wright.