A suburban Minneapolis police officer fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop Sunday after the officer may have intended to use a Taser instead of his firearm.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon believed the shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright to be “an accidental discharge.”
Wright was stopped because of an outstanding warrant. Police attempted to arrest him, and was shot while trying to get back in his car and drive away, officials said.
He was able to drive a few blocks before crashing.
Katie Wright, Daunte’s mother, huddled with loved ones near the scene and pleaded for her son’s body to be removed from the street. She said her son had called her when he was getting pulled over, and she heard scuffling before the call ended. When she called back, she said his girlfriend told her that her son had been shot, according to the Star Tribune.
Wright received a call from her son on Sunday afternoon telling her that police had pulled him over for having air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror, illegal in Minnesota. She said she told him to put the police officers on the phone so she could give them car insurance details, according to NBC News.
She then heard police tell her son to get out of the vehicle, she said, according to video shot by KARE.
Tension between police and the community increased during the third week of the murder trial of Derek Chauvin as hundreds protested Wright’s death.
Body cameras were worn by the Brooklyn Center officers, and dash cameras were likely activated during the tragic traffic stop, officials said.
The incident happened a few miles from where George Floyd was killed during an arrest last May.
Chauvin is the first of four officers on trial for Floyd’s death.