The situation couldn’t be much more tense in Minneapolis right now. With the trial of Derek Chauvin under way, the city is bracing for what may happen once a verdict is handed down. Then yesterday, 20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot and killed during a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center.
The shooting touched off rioting and looting in Brooklyn Center that spread to Minneapolis.
From Newsweek . . .
Several businesses in the area have been “completely destroyed,” while rioters clashed with police, according to videos shared on social media.
The National Guard has been activated and around 20 businesses have reportedly broken into in the Brooklyn Park area, John Harrington, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said at a press briefing.
Today, the Brooklyn Center police chief announced that after reviewing body cam footage from the as yet un-named officer who shot Wright, she didn’t intend to use deadly force.
From the AP . . .
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as “an accidental discharge.” The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was investigating.
Daunte Wright, 20, died Sunday in a metropolitan area that was already on edge because of the trial of the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death.
Gannon said at a news conference that the officer made a mistake, and he released body camera footage from the officer who fired. The footage showed three officers around a stopped car. When another officer attempts to handcuff Wright, a struggle ensues. The officer is heard shouting “Taser!” several times before firing her weapon.
The Brooklyn Center shooting brings to mind the incident at a San Francisco BART station back in 2009 when a cop intended to use his TASER and grabbed his pistol instead, killing Oscar Grant. It’s also eerily similar to a 2015 Tulsa shooting in which the officer involved announced that he was deploying his TASER before shooting Eric Courtney Harris and killing him.
In yesterday’s shooting . . .
Authorities said the car was pulled over for having expired registration and after determining the driver had an outstanding warrant, police said they tried to arrest him. Then the driver reentered the vehicle, and an officer fired, striking him, police said. The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle.
Wright’s family offered a different account, with Katie Wright saying her son was shot before getting back into the car.
A female passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the crash, authorities said. Katie Wright said that passenger was her son’s girlfriend.
It’s not yet known how long the officer involved was on the force, how much training she’d had, how she was carrying her TASER or what led her to grab the wrong item from her belt. In the mean time, the National Guard has been called out and public officials are expressing their horror and regret at what happened.
I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center. Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 12, 2021