Pressure Builds to Fire Minnesota Officer Who Killed Wright
BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — The pressure built Tuesday to fire the suburban Minneapolis police officer who killed a 20-year-old Black man during an altercation after a traffic stop, a shooting authorities said was a tragic mistake but that family members of Daunte Wright and others pointed to as yet the latest example of a broken criminal justice system.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott called the shooting in his city “deeply tragic” and called for the officer to be fired. Elliott, the city’s first Black mayor, announced Monday night that the City Council had fired the city manager and voted to give his office “command authority” over the police force.
“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is done and our communities are made whole,” Elliott said.
The city’s police chief has said he believes the officer, identified as 26-year-veteran Kim Potter, mistakenly grabbed her gun when she was going for her Taser. She can be heard on her body-camera video shouting “Taser! Taser!”
Wright’s father, Aubrey Wright, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that he rejects the explanation that the officer accidentally fired her handgun instead of her Taser.
“I cannot accept that. I lost my son. He’s never coming back. I can’t accept that. A mistake? That doesn’t even sound right. This officer has been on the force for 26 years. I can’t accept that,” he said.
Wright’s family planned to speak out again Tuesday alongside the family of George Floyd at the courthouse where the trial is being held for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in his death. Protests erupted for a second night following Sunday’s shooting, heightening anxiety in an area already on edge as the Derek Chauvin trial progresses. Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon on Monday would not say whether she would be fired, saying she was entitled to due process.