Death of Daunte Wright sparks protests, riots


From AP News: Demonstrators press against a security fence at the Brooklyn Park Police Department on April 16.

Isabella Cicero, Reporter

Twenty-year-old Daunte Wright was pulled over for a traffic stop on Sunday, April 11, 10 miles northwest of Minneapolis, resulting in what the Brooklyn Center Police Department describes as an accidental death. When Wright was pulled over for expired registration tags, police found the young man also had a warrant out for his arrest (New York Times).

As the police tried to take Wright into custody, he proceeded to re-enter his car when officer Kim Potter opened fire. The body camera footage shows a Brooklyn Center Police Department pointing a handgun at him and yelling “taser.” As the young man drove away, officer Potter told the other officers at the scene that she had just shot the 20-year old. After Wright was shot he proceeded to drive multiple blocks before he crashed into a vehicle. The female passenger who was with him at the time had no severe injuries. 

Wright died at the scene (ABC). 

“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy her Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” said Chief Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. 

After the events, Officer Potter and Chief Gannon both resigned (CBS). 

Authorities announced Wednesday former officer Potter was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter. Many days of protests resulted from the 20-year old’s death (Washington Post). 

The Minnesota police force made over 60 arrests on Tuesday night in Brooklyn Center. There were some peaceful protests in the United States, but the ones in Brooklyn Center turned violent. Rioters were throwing bricks and bottles at officers. Police used flash-bang grenades and riot gas to defend a nearby police station (Fox News). 

Wright’s mother described him as afraid of the police. 

“I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice, but I don’t know why and it should have never escalated the way it did.” (ABC)