Minnesota cop meant to draw taser in Daunte Wright killing

BREAKING NEWS: Bodycam footage shows moment senior female cop shot Minneapolis black man dead during traffic stop as officials insist she ‘accidentally drew her handgun instead of her Taser’

  • Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon on Monday described the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as ‘an accidental discharge’
  • Wright was shot dead on Sunday afternoon after he and his girlfriend were pulled over during a traffic stop for what his mother said was air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota 
  • Gannon revealed during a tense press conference that he believed the senior female officer who shot Wright accidentally drew her handgun instead of a taser
  • He released police body cam footage of the incident that showed three officers approaching Wright’s car after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop 
  • The footage showed an officer trying to handcuff Wright before he tried to get back in his car and flee 
  • After a struggle broke out, the female officer could be heard shouting ‘Taser!’ several times in the moments before she fired her gun 
  • Wright, who Gannon said didn’t appear to be armed, managed to drive several blocks before coming to a stop when he hit another car. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash 

A ‘senior’ female police officer who shot dead a 20-year-old black man during a traffic stop in Minneapolis accidentally fired her gun instead of her taser during a struggle, the police chief says. 

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon on Monday described the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright as ‘an accidental discharge’ after his death sparked violent protests less than 10 miles from where George Floyd was killed last year. 

Wright was shot dead on Sunday afternoon after he and his girlfriend were pulled over during a traffic stop for what his mother said was air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota.

Gannon revealed during a tense press conference that he believed the officer who shot Wright accidentally drew her handgun instead of a taser. 

He released police body cam footage of the incident that showed three officers approaching Wright’s car after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop. 

The footage showed an officer trying to handcuff Wright before he tried to get back in his car and flee.  

A struggle broke out between the officers and Wright. 

The female officer could be heard shouting ‘Taser!’ several times in the moments before she fired her gun. Immediately after, the female officer can be heard saying: ‘I shot him’. It appears she dropped her gun in the aftermath. 

Gannon said he did not believe Wright was armed. 

Wright managed to drive several blocks before coming to a stop when he hit another car. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash and his girlfriend, who was a passenger in the car, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. 

Police body cam footage of the fatal incident showed three officers approaching Daunte Wright’s car in Brooklyn Center on Sunday after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop

Police body cam footage of the incident showed the officer screaming ‘taser, taser’ as the officers struggled with Daunte Wright in his car in the moments before the shooting

‘This was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr Wright,’ Gannon said. 

‘As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser, but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet. 

‘For informational purposes we train with our handguns on our dominant side, and our taser on our weak side. If you’re right-handed you carry your firearm on your right side and your carry your taser on the left. This is done purposefully, and it’s trained.’ 

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is the agency investigating Wright’s death. 

The name of the officer who fired the fatal shot has not been released but Gannon described her as ‘senior’. She has been placed on administrative duty.  

Wright’s death sparked violent protests overnight with officers in riot gear clashing with demonstrators.

The unrest came just hours before the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, was set to resume in a courtroom on Monday. 

Police had revealed officers tried to arrest Wright after pulling him and his girlfriend over for a traffic violation at about 2pm on Sunday before realizing he had an outstanding warrant. 

Authorities said the car was pulled over for having expired registration and they tried to arrest him after determining he had an outstanding warrant. 

Court records show Wright was being sought after failing to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June. 

Daunte Wright, 20, was shot dead on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Center after he was pulled over during a traffic stop for what his mother said was air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror 

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon on Monday described the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright as ‘an accidental discharge’ after his death sparked violent protests less than 10 miles from where George Floyd was killed last year

In that case, a statement of probable cause said police got a call about a man waving a gun who was later identified as Wright. 

Wright’s mother Katie Wright said her son called her in the moments before he was shot to say police had pulled him over for having air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror. It is illegal in Minnesota to have anything hanging from a rear-view mirror. 

She said he called her to get insurance information for the vehicle because she recently gave the car to him. 

Describing the call, Wright’s mother said: ‘I said when the police officer comes back to the window, put him on the phone and I will give him the insurance information.  

‘Then I heard the police officer come to the window and say, ‘Put the phone down and get out of the car.’ And Wright said ‘why’. He said, ‘We’ll explain to you when you get out of the car.” 

‘A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, who was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot and she put it on the driver’s side, and he was laying there lifeless,’ Katie told gathered media on Sunday afternoon.   

‘I heard scuffling, and I heard police officers say, ‘Daunte, don’t run,” she said through tears. The call ended, and she dialed his number again. His girlfriend answered and said he was dead in the driver’s seat. 

Protestors and City of Brooklyn Center Police Officers clash outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Sunday night

The National Guard was called in to calm the chaos and a curfew was imposed to quell angry demonstrations over the shooting death of Daunte Wright on Sunday in the Brooklyn Center neighborhood

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