Daunte Wright was shot after hanging an air freshener on his rearview mirror, which is illegal in the state of Minnesota.

Minnesota police pulled over Daunte Wright for incorrectly placing an air freshener. When Wright pulled up, police found he had an existing warrant and the situation became violent.

Wright, aged 20, resisted arrest. As a result, he was fatally shot by one of the three police officers who had recognised an issue with the placement of the air freshener.

What happened?

The police officer who shot Wright, Officer Kim Potter, seemingly believed she was holding a taser. Despite the weapons being clearly different, the officer expressed shock when she shot the young man. Bodycam footage captured Potter stating “Sh** I shot him.”

Wright then entered his vehicle and drove away. Eventually, he crashed the vehicle and died. His girlfriend was present in the car but left the incident relatively unscathed.

Reaction

Over a hundred people protested the needless death at the Brooklyn Center police headquarters. Eventually, they were dispersed by tear gas.

Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, has also talked about the incident. Wright called his mother as the situation unfolded.

She explained the incident from her perspective when Wright called about insurance information:

“I said OK, when the police officer comes back to the window, put him on the phone and I can give him all our insurance information.”
“A second goes by, and I hear the police officer come back up to the window and ask Daunte to get out of the car. Daunte asked, ‘For what?’ The police officer said, ‘I’ll explain to you when you get out of the car.’
“Then the police officer asked him to hang up the phone. Three or four seconds went by. I tried calling back to back to back because I didn’t know what was going on.”
“When I called back, the girl that he had in the car answered the phone, and it was on FaceTime. And she was crying and screaming and said that they shot him.”
“And then she pointed the phone towards the driver’s seat and my son was laying there, unresponsive. That was the last time that I seen my son.”
“That’s the last time I heard from my son. And I’ve had no explanation since then.”
The mother of Wright’s son, Chyna Whitaker, also detailed how she felt about the incident:
“Now my son, he don’t have a dad.”
“His dad won’t get to see him for his 2nd birthday or for any of his birthdays. And I’m just so messed up about it because I feel like they stole my son’s dad from him.”
Claims that it was an accident have also been rejected. Wright’s father Aubrey Wright told Good Morning America that:
“I can’t accept that … mistake. That doesn’t even sound right. You know, this officer has been on the force for 26-plus years. I can’t accept that.”

Going forward

The police officer who shot Wright has stepped down from their role. However, many will want to know how an officer could mistake their weapon. Legal proceedings will now likely take place for the wrongful death of the young man.

George Floyd‘s family have offered support Philonise Floyd said:

“We will stand in support with you.”

“The world is traumatized, watching another African American man being slayed. I woke up in the morning with this on my mind. I don’t want to see another victim”

Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Daunte Wright.

Images via Alamy