‘Holy S**t, I Shot Him’: Minnesota Cop Who Killed 20-Year-Old Daunte Wright Allegedly Meant To Use Taser, Not Handgun
"They pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging down from his rear-view mirror," the victim's mother claimed.
April 12, 2021 at 9:24 pm
During a Monday press conference, Brooklyn Center Police Department Chief Tim Cannon asserted that the officer unintentionally drew their handgun as opposed to their taser, concluding that the fatal shooting was accidental.
“During this encounter, however, the officer drew their handgun instead of their taser,” Cannon said, adding that police are trained to carry their handguns on their dominant side, while their tasers should be carried on their non-dominant one.
“As I watched the video and listened to the officers commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” he continued. "This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer’s distress and reaction immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge.”
Cannon also revealed during the press conference that the officer who shot Wright is currently on administrative leave.
Executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Jaylani Hussein, told The Washington Post that she believes nothing has changed in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.”
“Nothing has fundamentally changed since the killing of George Floyd. Nothing,” Hussein said. “Police officers can still do whatever they’ve been doing without any measure of accountability.”
The shooting created an additional disconnect between community members and police in a city that is still reeling from the death of Floyd.
The incident, which occurred in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb, took place just 10 miles away from where the Derek Chauvin trial is underway.
According to the 20-year-old's mother, Katie Wright, her son called her and said he was being pulled over for air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror.
thread is filled with resources and info about Daunte Wright. pic.twitter.com/wB32o4ZP3c
— haruharu???? (@haruharu_w_bts) April 12, 2021
“He called me at about 1:30. He said he was getting pulled over by the police. And I said, ‘Why are you getting pulled over?’ And he said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rear-view mirror,” Wright said, according to The Daily Beast. "I said, ‘OK take them down.’"
His mother added that she could hear a scuffle break out and someone yelling, “Daunte, don’t run,” before the phone hung up.
According to CNN, an officer is then heard yelling "Taser! Taser! Taser!" before firing a handgun and screaming "Holy s**t! I shot him."
Moments later, the 20-year-old's mom called back and Wright’s girlfriend, a passenger in the car, said that he had been shot.
“She put it [the phone] on the driver’s side and my son was laying there, lifeless," Wright said, holding back tears.
Community members reacted to the news of Wright’s death, prompting the National Guard to be deployed.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot implemented a curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. on Monday after a crowd of reportedly 100 to 200 people gathered at the Brooklyn Center Police Department building, NBC News reported.
“All of the world is watching our community. We continue to be distressed as we go through the Derek Chauvin trial,” Elliot said during Monday’s press conference. “We will get to the bottom of this.”
Minnesota Senator Tina Smith offered her condolences in the aftermath of the shooting.
“A difficult night in Minnesota. We mourn with Daunte Wright’s family as another Black man’s life is lost at the hands of law enforcement,” Smith wrote in a tweet.
Wright, who leaves behind a son, was described as "a good kid,” the family said in a statement obtained by The Daily Beast.
“He loved being a father to Daunte Jr,” the statement read.
“Daunte had a smile to make anyone’s heart melt. He was definitely a jokester, he loved to joke with people, especially his brothers and sisters,” the family added. “He did not deserve this.”