Policewoman who fatally shot Daunte Wright mistook her gun for a taser

The policewoman who fatally shot Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb mistook her gun for a taser, the Police chief said.

20-year-old Daunte Wright was fatally shot during a traffic stop on Sunday in the US city of Brooklyn Center, after the officer mistakenly drew a gun instead of her taser in an “accidental discharge,” Chief Tim Gannon told the press.

Daunte Wrights death has sparked uproar and protests, while a curfew has now been enforced in Brooklyn Center, a city of about 30,000 people on Minneapolis’s northwest border.

Daunte Wright Image 2
Image: kvrr.com

“It is my belief the officer meant to deploy their Taser but shot him with a single bullet,” Chief Gannon said on Monday (Tuesday AEST).

“There’s nothing I can say to lessen the pain.”

The officer at the centre of the fatal shooting, Kim Potter, has now been placed on administrative leave.

Late on Monday, protesters defied the curfew to protest for a second night outside Brooklyn Center police headquarters, as tensions in Minneapolis rise during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-officer accused of murdering George Floyd.

Daunte Wright was pulled over on Sunday for a traffic violation, before a struggle ensued when he tried to get back into his car.

At a news conference on Monday morning, Chief Gannon played a short video from the body camera worn by a policewoman, showing Wright trying to get back into his car as officers attempt to handcuff him on the side of the road.

An officer can then be heard saying “Taser, Taser, Taser” – a standard procedure for police before firing a stun gun. Wright is seen getting into his car and driving away, while the same officer says, “I just shot him”.

Wright crashed a few streets away after being fatally wounded.

Brooklyn Center Mayor, Mike Elliott has called the shooting “deeply tragic.”

“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is done and our communities are made whole,” he said.

Minnesota Governor, Tim Walz tweeted that he was praying for Daunte Wright’s family “as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”

Speaking before the unrest, Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, urged protesters to stay peaceful and focused on the loss of her son.

“All the violence, if it keeps going, it’s only going to be about the violence. We need it to be about why my son got shot for no reason,” she said to a crowd near the Brooklyn Center where Wright was shot.

“We need to make sure it’s about him and not about smashing police cars, because that’s not going to bring my son back.”