Daunte Wright's mother said she was on the phone during traffic stop, says son was afraid of police

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Alex Chhith, Star Tribune
·2 min read
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The mother of Daunte Wright said in an interview Tuesday that she was on the phone with her son during the traffic stop that ultimately led to his death on Sunday.

The 20-year-old called his mom and told her he was pulled over because he had air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror, his parents, Katie and Aubrey Wright, said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is also representing George Floyd's family, appeared with the two along with attorney Jeff Storms.

Daunte Wright told his mother police wanted to see his insurance information. Katie Wright told her son to hand the phone to the police and she would relay it to them.

She heard the officers come back up to the window and heard them ask Wright to step out of the car and say that they would explain why he was pulled over when he got out of the car. A female was with him in the passenger seat. They then asked him to put the phone down.

"I heard scuffling and the girl that was with them screaming and I heard an officer ask for them to hang up the phone and then I didn't hear anything else," she said.

She tired to call back three to four times. Then the girl answered the phone and told her they had shot Daunte Wright and he was unresponsive in the driver's seat. Katie Wright then heard an officer ask the passenger to hang up the phone again.

Katie Wright said she didn't know what led up to the escalation between police and her son, but knew he was afraid of law enforcement.

"It should have never escalated the way it did," she said.

Daunte Wright's father, Aubrey Wright, said police haven't given much information to the family. When asked about the Brooklyn Center police chief stating the officer may have meant to use a Taser and not a gun, Aubrey Wright said he can't accept that response.

"I cannot accept that, I lost my son. He's never coming back," he said. "A mistake, that doesn't even sound right."

The death of Daunte Wright follows a pattern of Black Americans being treated differently by police, Crump said in the interview.

"It's not about training, it's about implicit bias and about giving the same respect and consideration to people of color that we give to white American citizens," he said. "We don't see these sort of things happening to white young people that we see happen over and over and over again to young marginalized minorities."

Daunte Wright was a young man who had a big heart, loved basketball and had a 2-year-old son.

"We had our hearts pulled out of our chests," Katie Wright said. "He was my baby."

Alex Chhith • 612-673-4759