Brooklyn Center Chief: Black Man Shot, Killed by Police Appears to Be ‘Accidental Discharge’
Brooklyn Center Police Shooting Leaves One Dead
A 20-year-old Black man shot and killed Sunday during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center appears to be the result of an officer’s “accidental discharge” of a firearm, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said Monday during a press conference. Family members identify the man as Daunte Wright.
The female officer who fired the shot, who Gannon said was of “senior” standing,” is on paid administrative leave while the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducts an independent investigation. The officer could be heard yelling, “Taser, Taser, Taser,” before the fatal shot was fired.
“As I watched the video and listened to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said during Monday’s press conference.
Officers and medical personnel attempted life-saving measures, but Wright died at the scene.
Curfew In Effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The officer-involved shooting happened around 2 p.m. Sunday in the 6300 block of Orchard Ave. in Brooklyn Center. The incident led to protests, unrest and looting of Brooklyn Center businesses. Governor Tim Walz has ordered a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew that impacts all cities within Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka counties.
Gannon says the driver had an outstanding warrant, but could not reveal further details. Court records revealed Wright had faced charges for first-degree aggravated robbery.
The bodycam footage shows that officers were trying to take Wright into custody. That’s when Wright re-entered the vehicle and tried to drive away. A fatal shot came moments after. The vehicle traveled several blocks before crashing into another vehicle. A passenger in Wright’s vehicle sustained non-life threatening injuries. Occupants of the other vehicle were not hurt.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott addressed the media and offered his opinion on the situation.
“We cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession. And so I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties,” Elliott said.
A press conference involving Chief Gannon and city leaders can be seen below.
Protests and Looting Followed Officer-Involved Shooting
Meanwhile, people congregated at the scene on Orchard Avenue following the shooting Sunday afternoon. When officers left that area, protestors moved to outside of the police station. Eyewitness footage showed one, perhaps two, Brooklyn Center squad cars vandalized.
There were also reports of someone shooting at the Brooklyn Park police station, but no injuries were reported.
Public officials weighed in as well.
I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center. Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 12, 2021
The officer shooting in Brooklyn Center today is tragic. We are asking the protesters to continue to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with with force.
— Mayor Mike Elliott (@mayor_elliott) April 12, 2021
There were also numerous instances of looting around the Shingle Creek Crossing shopping center, which includes Walmart.
Looted shops in Shingle Creek Crossing Shopping Center in Brooklyn Park #Minnesota this morning. Shopping center is closed. National Guard and media here but few other people @MPRnews pic.twitter.com/c67F6hvRCc
— Andrew Krueger (@akpix) April 12, 2021
CCX News Executive Producer Corey Bork contributed to this report