Police Body Camera Footage Released In Shooting Death Of Daunte Wright

By Cherranda Smith

April 12, 2021

At a press conference on Monday (April 12), Brooklyn Center, Minnesota city officials gave updates in the fatal police-involved shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright

Authorities said Wright was pulled over by officers on Sunday afternoon (April 11) for expired tags. During the stop, a warrant for Wright’s arrest was discovered by officers and they attempted to arrest him. 

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon played a portion of the body camera footage from the incident. Members of the media and community activists audibly gasped as the footage played after hearing the officer who shot Wright repeatedly shouted “Taser!” while firing her gun. The officer was not named during the conference, though Gannon said she is currently on administrative leave and is a “very senior officer.”  

Police Chief Calls Shooting Of Daunte Wright “Accidental”

After the body cam footage of Daunte’s death was shown, Chief Gannon declined to answer questions about terminating the officer, stating that she has a right to due process. However, the chief and other city officials called the shooting “accidental” at the conference, before the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension released its investigation findings. 

Community Members Press Authorities

Community advocates present at the conference pressed officials including Mayor Mike Elliott and City Manager Curt Boganey, on the cause of the police stop in the first place, one person brought up the impact of the coronavirus pandemic which has delayed things like getting updated registrations and tags since the state-run agencies who complete those processes are closed or on limited schedules. 

Advocates also pressed law enforcement officials on their use of force during protests that occurred after news of Daunte’s killing was made known. Specifically, the use of tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters. 

Chief Gannon called the protests “riots” but advocates pushed back. “Don’t do that,” a person in the room said, “there was no riot.” 

“There was,” Gannon said, stating that one officer was hit in the head by a brick and was then taken to the hospital. 

Gannon said officers would be out tonight (April 12) to "protect" the police headquarters and the city. 

Ben Crump Retained By Daunte Wright’s Family

Attorney Ben Crump has been retained by Daunte Wright’s family, according to a statement released by his law office and shared with the Black Information Network. Crump represented the family of George Floyd who was killed in the same county as Daunte last May. 

“Daunte Wright is yet another young Black man killed at the hands of those who have sworn to protect and serve all of us –– not just the whitest among us. As Minneapolis and the rest of the country continue to deal with the tragic killing of George Floyd, now we must also mourn the loss of this young man and father.

"This level of lethal force was entirely preventable and inhumane. What will it take for law enforcement to stop killing people of color? The growing number of Black men and women who have been killed or harmed by police is far too hefty a price for the equality we are seeking. We join Daunte’s family in demanding justice for him, and holding those responsible for his death accountable,” the statement reads. 

Photos: Getty Images

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