On Sunday near Minneapolis, Daunte Wright was fatally shot at a traffic stop. The police officer who shot him, now identified as Kim Potter, claims that she mistook her handgun for her taser. A body camera video recorded officers attempting to arrest Wright in his car. As he leans further into his vehicle, the officer can be seen aiming a weapon at Wright and shouting “Taser! Taser! Taser!”. Shots are fired, causing him to yelp out in pain.
Wright’s heartbroken family spoke to the media, recounting the events preceding his death. Over the phone, his mother heard him get pulled over for having air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror, and then warned by his girlfriend in the passenger seat to not run, before the call ended. The tragedy leaves his two year old son without a father and the rest of his family grieving. His mother gave a heartfelt speech at his vigil a day following his death. “I just need everyone to know that he is much more than this. He had a smile that was angelic.” She wants to stress that he was a devoted son, husband, and brother, and should be remembered for more than just being the most recent Black man killed by the police.
The shooting occurred in an area that was already familiar with the injustices of police brutality. Near Brooklyn Center, the National Guard had already been deployed for the well-known trial proccecuting an officer for another black man, George Floyd’s, murder earlier last year. Ironically, these same officers were there to take control of growing crowds demanding justice for Wright, similar to situations last June following Floyd’s death. Derek Chauvin’s trial, George Flloyd’s murder, and now the murder of Daunte Wright all occured in the same area of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Immediately after news was released, protestors gathered around the police station to protest. They remained there consecutively for 2 nights, actively breaking the 7 p.m. curfew implemented by the city. Protestors chanted while throwing water bottles and stones over the station’s fence as officers in riot gear stood guard. Tear gas was thrown to disperse the crowd but many remained unfazed. Mayor Mike Elliot said a few words at Brooklyn Center, pushing demonstrators to leave, “I’m asking everybody to go home. We need to keep the peace in our city.” However, a couple dozen people remained, even after midnight had passed.