Daunte Wright, another unarmed death

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Daunte Wright was shot and killed by Officer Kim Potter in Minneapolis on April 11th just a few miles from the courthouse where Derek Chauvin, the officer who murdered George Floyd, was on trial.

US Today reported, “The police officer who fatally shot a 20-year-old Black man during a traffic stop may have intended to fire a Taser, the city’s police chief said Monday, April 12th.” The Brooklyn Center in Minneapolis released the body camera footage of Kim Potter, the officer who killed Daunte Wright, and the footage shows that she meant to fire her taser not her gun. 

“Our deepest sympathies are with Daunte Wright’s family and his young son,”  said President Frank Wu of Queens College. “His tragic killing is yet another instance in a continuing epidemic of horrific violence against Black men in our country. As members of a community and institution of higher learning, we must strive to raise greater awareness and understanding of the causes of these injustices.”

According to Former Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, who submitted his resignation, officers pulled Mr. Wright over on the afternoon of April 11 for a traffic violation related to expired registration tags.

Officers then discovered that he had a warrant for his arrest. As the police tried to detain Mr. Wright, he stepped back into his car, prompting a brief struggle with officers, Chief Gannon said.

Dr. Deidre Flowers, professor of Africana Studies at QC said, “I was telling my students a couple weeks ago in class, that we as a society fail to see the humanity in one another and what I’m struggling to understand is how is it that we’re just able to automatically assume that when we see an African American doing something that means you’re in danger when you may be the one wearing the bullet proof vest and you are the officer with the taser and gun.”

CNN reported that Potter has resigned after 26 years of service as an officer. A county attorney’s report states this was not Potter’s first time dealing with the aftermath of a police officer shooting someone. In 2019, police fatally shot a man who was threatening his grandfather with a knife and hammer. The use of deadly force by police in that incident was ruled lawful, the report states. 

In accordance with Brooklyn Center Police Department policies, Potter — who was not present at the time of the shooting — gave instructions to the two officers involved in the shooting to get into different police cars, turn off their body cameras and not speak to each other. Potter was not accused of any wrongdoing in this instance.

“When you look at our police department, you see it’s made up of white men and you know they’re policing black bodies. People have been policing black bodies for years since the end of slavery,” said Flowers. “That was the reason for patrollers, they were looking for slaves running away or sneaking from plantation to plantation, this has carried forward.”

USA Today reported that Potter was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter,  officials said. Potter posted $100,000 bond Wednesday evening and was released from the Hennepin County jail, online records showed. She is scheduled for an initial court appearance on Thursday afternoon.If found guilty, Potter faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, according to Minnesota law.

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