Startled Minnesota officer apparently intended to use Taser, not gun, on Black man, according to police chief.
Civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump was joined by the families of Daunte Wright and George Floyd in Minneapolis on Tuesday, calling for justice for Wright’s death in what police have called an “accident”.
“We believed with everything in our heart, that police would be on their best behaviour, that they will exercise their greatest standard of care that they will concentrate on de-escalation in a way that they have never concentrated,” said Crump, who previously called Wright’s death an injustice.
Wright was pulled over and shot by traffic police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, on Sunday. Body-worn camera footage from the police officer who shot Wright appears to show the officer’s surprise after realising she had drawn a pistol, not a Taser, and fired at Wright.
Wright, who was still in the car, sped away and later died.
Katie Wright, Daunte’s mother, described in detail the call with her son as police pulled him over for “he said ‘because I had air fresheners hanging in the rearview mirror.'” She told her son to take them down.
Through tears, Wright said she “never imagined this was what was gonna happen, I just thought maybe he was being arrested”.
The latest police killing of an unarmed Black person in Minneapolis occurred during the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin over second- and third-degree murder charges in Floyd’s death.
The officer who shot Wright, 26-year veteran Kim Potter and former union president, resigned on Tuesday. It is believed she confused on which side she had her Taser and her pistol.
After 26 years…
YOU KNOW your duty weapon is on your dominant side and your taser is on your non-dominant side.
YOU KNOW the weight of the gun vs. the taser.
YOU KNOW the color of the gun vs. the taser.
Daunte Wright's death was NO accident! #JusticeForDaunteWright
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 13, 2021
Crump called attention to her length on the police force, saying “after 26 years, you would think that, you know what side your gun is on and what side your Taser’s on.”
Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, extended his condolences to the Wright family. “I wanna see these people get the maximum amount of time”, Floyd said.
Crump, who represented Floyd’s family in a civil case against the city of Minneapolis that resulted in a record-setting $27m settlement, is now representing Wright’s family.
Wright’s death has set off consecutive nights of protest in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center.