The Minneapolis police chief claims that the officer who murdered 20-year-old Daunte Wright only meant to tase him.
On Monday, Police Chief Tim Gannon said that a female officer reached for her taser but instead drew her gun during the fatal traffic stop on Sunday. In the body-camera footage released by the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Wright exits his car and then gets back into his vehicle as police officers attempt to apprehend him on a misdemeanor warrant. Once Wright re-entered his vehicle, the female officer is heard shouting “taser” before fatally shooting the young man. She is then heard screaming, “Holy s— I just shot him,” before the car sped away. Wright was able to drive for a short while longer before succumbing to the gunshot wound to the chest. His death was determined a homicide by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
“As I watched the video and listened to the officer’s commands, it is my belief the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon explained to reporters. He called the shooting of the gun an “accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
Wright’s murder, which took place just 14 miles from where George Floyd was murdered last year, sparked massive protests. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a seven p.m.-to-six a.m. curfew for Hennepin, Ramsey, and Anoka counties following the unrest.
Mayor Mike Elliott is also outraged and is demanding that the veteran officer be fired.
“We cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life,” Elliott said. “I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties.”
At this time, the officer is on administrative leave. Gannon suggested that she will not be returning to her duties but did not confirm her termination.