Loved ones of Daunte Wright and George Floyd gathered on Tuesday to call for action to be taken against the now-former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter.
The Wright and Floyd families joined prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and others on Tuesday afternoon in front of Minnesota’s Hennepin County Courthouse, where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is standing trial on murder and manslaughter charges in connection with the May 2020 death of Floyd.
Crump is now representing both families in their separate cases. The prominent attorney said Tuesday that Floyd’s family “thought it was important that they give comfort to Daunte Wright’s mother and father and family and Daunte Wright’s child.”
“Because this time last year – almost a year ago – they were facing the unimaginable, they were facing the unbelievable, they were facing the agony of losing a family member to police excessive force,” Crump said. “And it is unbelievable. It is just something I could not fathom that in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a suburb 10 miles from where the Chauvin trial regarding George Floyd was taking place, that a police officer would shoot and kill another unarmed Black man.”
Crump has drawn parallels between Wright’s death and Floyd’s in that they used “the most force” when a ticket should have sufficed, he said.
Floyd, 46, died after Chauvin allegedly held his knee against his neck or upper body for more than 9 minutes, despite the man’s shouts that he could not breathe.
Just shy of 11 months later, on Sunday afternoon, Brooklyn Center police pulled over Wright, who was allegedly driving a car with expired registration tags. Police then tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant 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.
Body camera footage released Monday sheds more light on what happened next.
The video shows three officers around a stopped car. When an officer attempts to handcuff Wright, a second officer can be heard on video telling Wright he’s being arrested on a warrant.
“I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” the officer is heard shouting on her bodycam footage released at a news conference. She draws her weapon after the man breaks free from police outside his car and gets back behind the wheel.
After firing a single shot from her handgun, the car speeds away, and the officer is heard saying, “Holy s—! I shot him.”
The car is then seen traveling several blocks before striking another vehicle.
Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the medical examiner.
The officer, identified as 26-year-veteran of the force Kim Potter, resigned Tuesday, along with Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon.
“After 26 years you would think that you know what side your gun is on and what side your Taser is on,” Crump said Tuesday. “You know the weight of your gun and the weight of your Taser. It is unacceptable.”
Wright’s mother described in heartwrenching detail how her son called her at 1:47 p.m. on Sunday, which she called “the worst day of my life.”
Katie Wright described how Daunte called her to tell her he had been pulled over for what he thought was an issue with an air freshener blocking his rear-view mirror. She heard in the background a police officer ask Daunte to step out of the car, she recalled.
Daunte then hung up the phone. Minutes later, Katie Wright received a FaceTime call from a woman in the vehicle with her son, who told her Daunte had been shot. The woman pointed the phone’s camera to Daunte lying wounded in the driver’s seat.
“My son was laying there unresponsive,” Katie said. “I have had no explanation since then.”
Daunte Wright’s aunt, Naisha Wright, was emphatic in calling for justice in her nephew’s death, telling the crowd: “She killed my nephew.”
“I watched that video like everybody else watched that video. That woman held that gun out in front of her for a long damn time. A long damn time.” She later adds: “My nephew’s blood is on your hands.”
“They need to pay,” Naisha Wright continued. “She needs to pay.”
Wright said Floyd’s girlfriend was a teacher for her nephew at one time.
An investigation into Wright’s shooting is ongoing.
Fox News’ Robert Sherman contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.
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