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What to Know About the Police Killing of Daunte Wright

Christopher Luu
·5 min read

Update April 14, 2021: NBC News reports that Kim Potter, the officer involved in the shooting of Daunte Wright, has been arrested in connection with his death. She will be charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Update April 13, 2021: People reports that both Kim Potter, the officer involved in the shooting of Daunte Wright, and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon have resigned.

"She felt that was the right thing for the community, and I couldn't agree more," Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said of Potter's resignation at a news conference on Tuesday. "We did not ask her to resign. That was a decision she made. I'm hoping this will help bring some calm to the community, although ultimately people want justice. We have to make sure justice is served, justice is done."

Wright's aunt, Naisha Wright, said that she hoped that Potter would be held accountable for her actions.

"I hope that since she went ahead and she resigned that they hold her at the highest (accountability) because she was the law," she said during a press conference with civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

USA Today notes that City Manager Curt Boganey was fired.

"We want to send the message to the community that we're taking this situation very seriously," Mayor Mike Elliott said.

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Previously: Police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, killed a young Black man last night, CNN reports, noting that the incident happened just 10 miles from where Derek Chauvin is on trial with charges of murder and manslaughter for the death of George Floyd. The victim, Daunte Wright, was 20 years old and pulled over by police for an alleged traffic violation.

Wright's mother encouraged peaceful demonstrations, saying, "We want justice for Daunte. We don't want it to be about all this violence." She also noted that Daunte called her as soon as he was being pulled over, adding that police had pulled him over because "he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror." CNN adds that Daunte reportedly had a warrant out for his arrest but Damik Bryant, Daunte's older brother, believes that his brother was unaware of any sort of warrant.

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"So he called my mom. And she said put me on the phone with the officer, but he already told him his name not thinking he had a warrant, you know, cops came back to the car and the original stop was for air fresheners," he said. "His girlfriend called my mom on FaceTime and said that they shot Daunte and mom was like, 'let me see him' and he was slumped over. We don't even really know why. We know what happened and we don't know why."

The Brooklyn Center Police Department hasn't released the officer's name.

During a press conference, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said that he believed that the officer shot Wright accidentally – though that has yet to be confirmed by any investigation.

City Manager Curt Boganey anticipated releasing the officer's name later on Monday.

"We have every intent to release that information as quickly as possible... There's no reason or desire to withhold that information any longer than absolutely necessary," he said. The officer is currently on administrative leave. Body camera footage was also shown at a press conference.

"I'm also stressing that I do hope for the community to be patient and allow this investigation, criminal investigation, to be completed as thoroughly as possible. I believe Mr. Wright deserves this, as do all involved," Gannon stated.

RELATED: How to Help Demand Justice for George Floyd

Conflicts between protestors and police continued through Sunday night and Monday. National Guard troops and Minnesota State Patrol officers were deployed and police have used rubber bullets and "chemical agents." Mayor Mike Elliott has ordered a curfew until 6 a.m.

"We recognize that this couldn't have happened at a worse time," he said during a news conference Monday morning. "We recognize that this is happening at a time when our community — when all of America, indeed all of the world — is watching."

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has already started an investigation into the incident. Mayor Elliott stressed that there would be "transparency and accountability" in the process.

"While we await additional information from the BCA who is leading the investigation," Elliott said in a statement. "We continue to ask that members of our community gathering do so peacefully, amid our calls for transparency and accountability."

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RELATED: Activist Rachel Cargle Unpacks Racism in America

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the incident.

"We were incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of life at the hands of law enforcement in Minnesota yesterday," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a White House briefing. "The president has of course been briefed, he will have a few words he will share at the top of the semiconductor event that will be starting shortly. We are also in touch with the governor in touch with the mayor in touch with local law enforcement authorities as well. It is a reminder of the pain, the anger, the trauma, the exhaustion that many communities across the country have felt as we see these incidents continue to occur within just a few miles of where the tragic events happened just a year ago."

Mayor Elliot confirmed that he'd been in contact with the White House.

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To support Daunte Wright's son and girlfriend, Holistic Heaux is collecting diapers, gift cards, and more.

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This post will be updated with more information about the investigation and how to get involved.