A police officer fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, in a Minneapolis suburb during a routine traffic stop Sunday. The shooting has triggered violent protests in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters.
According to Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, the deadly shooting took place during a routine traffic stop triggered by an expired car registration. After running a check on Wright, officers found an outstanding warrant for him. Gannon released the body camera video of the shooting on Monday. The video showed Wright breaking free and getting back inside his car after the failed attempt of an officer to handcuff him next to the car. At that moment, a second officer yells, “Taser, Taser, Taser,” before firing a single shot from her handgun.
Gannon believed the officer had been reaching for her taser, but pulled her gun and shot Wright instead. He cited the officer’s reaction and distress in the video as proof showing the accidental nature of the shooting. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott called for firing the officer responsible for the tragic death. He added the shooting “couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” as it took place amid the ongoing trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd last summer.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated at her briefing the Biden administration is “incredibly saddened” by the police shooting of Wright. President Joe Biden urged a “full-blown investigation” into Wright’s death and called on protesters in Minnesota to be peaceful. Biden made it clear that nothing would justify looting and violence.