Daunte Wright was driving with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon when he was stopped in the Minneapolis suburbs.
Police previously said they tried to arrest the driver after learning that he had a pending arrest warrant during a traffic obstruction. The man got back in his vehicle and an officer shot him dead, police said. They said the man drove several blocks before hitting another vehicle.
The bodycam video released by the police chief on Monday provided more details about what happened.
Wright got out of his car, then got back in. It’s not clear why, but the police chief told reporters the video showed that Wright tried to leave.
Then one hears an officer shouting: “Taser! Taser! Taser!” but then a gun – not a taser – fires at Wright.
“Holy shit!” The officer screams. “I shot him.”
The police chief said the shooting was “an accidental discharge that led to the tragic death of Mr. Wright”.
Gannon Wright’s family offered his “deepest condolences” and continued to swear transparency.
“There is nothing I can say to relieve the pain that Mr. Wright’s family, friends, have for the sense of loss they must have,” said the boss. “This pain is shared by the community and everyone involved in the incident.”
How easy (or difficult) is it to mistake a gun for a taser? The shooting took place in Brooklyn Park, about 10 miles from where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of another black man, George Floyd.
Governor Tim Walz offered condolences to Wright’s family.
“Gwen and I pray for Daunte Wright’s family as our state grieves for another life of a black man taken by law enforcement,” Walz tweeted.
Wright called his mother during the traffic obstruction
The police chief said Wright was originally run over because of a past day. Gannon said he had “very little information about the warrant other than that it was a gross felony warrant”.
Right before he was killed, Wright called his mother and said he had been run over.
He was with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon when a police officer stopped him, his mother Katie Wright told CNN subsidiary WCCO.
“He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners on the rearview mirror,” said Katie Wright.
During her call, Katie Wright overheard some conversations between the police and her son, she told CNN subsidiary KARE.
“I heard the policeman come to the window and say, ‘Hang up the phone and get out of the car’ and Daunte said, ‘Why?’ And he said, “We’ll explain when you get out of the car,” Katie Wright told KARE.
“So I heard the phone either put on the dashboard or dropped, and I heard shuffles, and I heard the cops say, ‘Down isn’t running.’ And then the other officer said, “Hang up” and hung up. “
It wasn’t immediately clear to CNN how Katie Wright knew the police had hung up her son’s phone.
She also told KARE that she called her son back about a minute later and his girlfriend picked up the phone “and said he had been shot. She put (the phone) on the driver’s side and my son lay lifeless.” ”
Katie Wright cried as she told WCCO about her son’s final moments.
“He didn’t deserve to be shot like that,” she said.
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Wright was on his way to brother’s new home
Daunte Wright’s older brother, Damik Bryant, told CNN that he believed Wright was unaware that he had an arrest warrant against him.
Shortly before the traffic obstruction, Bryant said Wright was on his way to Bryant’s new home to visit him. Bryant said he texted Wright asking him what was taking so long and Wright said he stopped at a car wash.
Bryant said when Wright was run over he sent a text that said “I was run over” asking for insurance information. Bryant said he told his brother to call their mother to get this information and he did.
But by that point, Bryant said, officials had already entered Wright’s name into the system.
“So he called my mom and she said she called me with the cop but he already told him his name without believing he had an arrest warrant … cops came back to the car, and the original stop was for air freshener, “said Bryant.
“You asked him to get out of the car and you know his first instinct was, ‘What did I do, what’s wrong?’ And they said, “Well, hang up, get out of the car now, we’ll talk to you about it when you get out.” So he gets out of the car and … there are a lot of cops already ” said Bryant. “So they ask him to put his hands behind his back and then he tries to get back in the car to leave and they shot.”
Bryant said, Wright’s girlfriend “called my mom on FaceTime and said they shot Daunte and mom said,” Let me see him. “And he was slumped,” said Bryant, wiping his tears away.
“We don’t even really know why. We know what happened and we don’t know why.”
Hundreds protested after Wright’s death
When the news of Wright’s death spread, hundreds of people protested on Sunday evening.
Authorities received reports of some protesters throwing stones at a police building in Brooklyn Park, the Minnesota Department of Public Security said.
More than 500 Minnesota National Guard members have been activated, and the Guard said it plans to increase the number of members on duty “in response to what happened overnight at the Brooklyn Center.”
The Guard had originally planned to increase the number of members in order to close the arguments in the chauvin process.
“We will continue to help protect lives and property and keep the peace in Minnesota’s community,” the Minnesota National Guard tweeted.
A crowd marched towards the police
As the anger over Wright’s death grew, aerial photography by CNN member KARE showed several police cars around the crowded crash site at Brooklyn Center. The video showed people trying to damage police cars.
About 100 to 200 people marched toward the Brooklyn Center Police Department, said John Harrington, commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Public Security (DPS).
After dark, a crowd gathered around the police department, local CNN crews reported. The officers held a line outside the department with some officers positioned on top of the building.
Harrington said there were reports of people throwing stones and other objects at the police building. There were also reports of gunfire in the area, he said.
While one group stayed in the police department, a second group was seen in Shingle Creek Mall, where about 20 businesses were broken into, Harrington said.
Much of the crowd in the police department was later dispersed, Harrington said.
A police officer announced through a speaker that the gathering was illegal and at 9:30 p.m. gave the group a 10-minute warning to disperse.
Five minutes later, the crowd received another warning before there was a loud bang and people ran off. Part of the crowd stayed.
The state installed the Minnesota National Guard, and Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott issued a curfew through 6:00 a.m. (7:00 p.m. ET) Monday.
Wright’s case is referred to in the Chauvin Trial
Elsewhere in the Minneapolis area, a defense attorney in Chauvin’s murder trial asked for the entire jury to be confiscated after Wright’s death.
In a pre-trial hearing on Monday, defense attorney Eric Nelson requested that the jury be accommodated in a hotel and questioned further.
Nelson argued that the news of Wright’s death could affect the jury’s ability to remain impartial during the trial.
The state denied the seizure request, saying it was neither fair nor effective.
“We cannot have every single world event that could affect a person’s attitudes or emotional state or anything as a reason to come back and revile all jurors,” said prosecutor Steve Schleicher.
Judge Peter Cahill denied the defense’s motion to confiscate or question jurors.
Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis will see more police officers
Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is on-site and will investigate, said the Brooklyn Center Police Chief.
A strike team was set up in nearby Minneapolis to handle reports of break-ins and gunfire, Harrington said.
He said the authorities would maintain a strong presence in the region for the coming days.
“You will see a robust array of National Guard, state and local police forces working together over the next two or three days,” Harrington said.
Brooklyn Center Community Schools are closed on Mondays and offer distance learning “out of caution,” wrote Superintendent Dr. Carly Baker in a message on the school’s website.
“I haven’t fully processed the tragedy in our community and I value the safety and well-being of our students, families, staff and community members.”
CNN’s Brad Parks, Joe Sutton, Eric Fiegel, and Alta Spells contributed to this report.