MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Officials have released police bodycam footage from the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop that took place in Brooklyn Center, a suburb located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wright, 20, had been pulled over on April 11 for expired tags, in addition to an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror, which is not allowed in Minneapolis. While running Wright’s license, officers discovered a “gross misdemeanor warrant” for his arrest, reportedly for charges of carrying a pistol without a permit and fleeing police.
The bodycam video, which runs a mere one minute in length, starts with officers approaching Wright’s vehicle and asking him to get out, at which time they inform him that he has a warrant and attempt to place him under arrest. At first Wright is seen to be complying, but as he is being handcuffed he suddenly begins resisting and fighting with the officers while attempting to get back into his vehicle, presumably to flee the scene.
At this time, one of the officers – Kimberly Potter, 48, a 26 year veteran of the force and whose bodycam footage was released – is heard during the struggle saying “I’ll tase you, I’ll tase you” but the footage shows her drawing her firearm instead, which later Police Chief Tim Gannon claimed she did accidently.
For at least seven seconds she is seen pointing the firearm at Wright as he continued to fight with officers, before finally yelling “Taser! Taser! Taser!” before discharging a single shot point-blank into Wright’s chest. Wright then fled the scene in his vehicle, crashing a few blocks away; officers performed CPR, but Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. His girlfriend, who was also in the vehicle; she sustained non-life threatening injuries.
An outside department is currently investigating the shooting, with Police Chief Gannon stating at the outset that it was “too early” to tell if charges should be brought against Officer Potter; however, both Potter and Gannon have since resigned from their jobs.
Wright’s death – which occurred ten miles from the intersection where George Floyd died last year – triggered protests and looting of local businesses on Sunday night.