Officer Who Fatally Shot Daunte Wright Intended to Discharge a Taser, Minnesota Police Chief Says

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The police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a black man, during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb on Sunday had intended to discharge a taser and instead fired a single shot at the man, according to a Minnesota police chief.

Police Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department described the shooting as “an accidental discharge.”

Gannon said officers pulled the 20-year-old over for a traffic violation and tried to detain him after learning he had an outstanding warrant. The man then reentered his car and an officer shot him.

The car rolled for several blocks until it hit another vehicle. Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer, who has been identified only as a “very senior office,” can be heard on body camera footage yelling “taser” before firing the single shot that killed Wright. She can then be heard saying “Oh s***, I just shot him.”

One police officer was injured in the incident, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Wright had a warrant out for his arrest after he failed to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during a run-in with Minneapolis police in June, according to the Associated Press. Police received a call in that case that a man, who was later identified as Wright, was waving a gun.

Protests broke out in the city late Sunday into Monday, with demonstrators clashing with police outside the Brooklyn Center police headquarters. Some rioters threw rocks and other objects at officers.

National Guard members arrived in the city shortly before midnight to help local officers. The protests had largely petered out by 1:15 a.m. Monday, according to the AP.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. The White House has been in contact with the governor, mayor and local law enforcement, she said.

“We were incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of life at the hands of law enforcement in Minnesota yesterday,” Psaki said.

Curt Boganey, the city manager of Brooklyn Center told reporters on Monday that the city plans to hire an equity officer in the coming weeks. The city council has “provided specific direction about accountability for the police department and transparency for the police department,” he said.

“We’re providing reports to the city council about officer discipline, about information on stops of black and brown people or people of color in the city of Brooklyn Center,” Boganey said. “We have been developing some task forces to assess if any of our policies or any of our practices lead to disproportionate equitable results, and our objective for doing that analysis is to eliminate any inequity that occurs as a result of our practice and our policies and that has been communicated to the chief and to the police officers.”

The fatal shooting comes amid the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer accused of killing George Floyd during his arrest last May. Chauvin is seen in a video of the arrest kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes until he became unconscious.

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