Daunte Wright was ‘accidentally’ shot dead by officer who was trying to taser him

Graeme Massie
·2 min read
<p>People stand on a police cruiser as protesters take to the streets after Brooklyn Center police shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on April 11, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.</p> (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

People stand on a police cruiser as protesters take to the streets after Brooklyn Center police shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on April 11, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Daunte Wright was “accidentally” shot dead by an officer who was trying to taser him, police say.

The Brooklyn Center police chief told a news conference that the female officer meant to pull out her taser weapon but instead grabbed her handgun and shot Mr Wright.

Police Chief Tim Gannon said that it was “an accidental discharge that resulted in the death of Mr Wright.”

Chief Gannon said that the “very senior” officer was receiving counselling, while Mayor Mike Elliott said he supported the firing of the officer.

Officials have declined to release the name of the officer but said that the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension would release more details.

Mr Wright, 20, was pulled over by police on Sunday afternoon for having expired tags on his car, police confirmed.

Body cam video footage played by the police department showed that a struggle took place as officers attempted to handcuff Mr Wright outside of his car.

During the struggle the officer pulled out her weapon and fired it once, before Mr Wright got back in his car and drove off. He crashed the car several blocks away and was pronounced dead.

The officer, who is currently on administrative leave, can then be heard telling officers that she had shot Mr Wright.

The police chief told reporters that he would not resign, before walking out of the press conference.

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Before he left Chief Gannon said that he had decided to release the body cam footage as the “community needed to know what happened, they needed to see it, we needed to be transparent.”

The police chief later returned and apologised for walking out of the press conference.

“My position is that the officer is afforded due process, she has the right to give her statement and tell what she thought and what she felt, and that may have an impact,” said the police chief when asked if the officer should be fired.

The Minneapolis area saw looting and riots on Sunday night after the officer shot Mr Wright 10 miles from where George Floyd had been pinned to the floor by Derek Chauvin last May. Mr Chauvin is currently on trial for murdering Mr Floyd, which he denies.

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