A fatal traffic stop shooting Sunday afternoon that led to a night of protests and property destruction in a Minneapolis suburb may have been the result of an officer drawing the wrong weapon.
Brooklyn Center, MN, Police Chief Tim Gannon played a clip of the police camera footage from the attempted arrest of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man, during a Monday morning press conference. In the clip, the officer can be heard shouting "I'll tase you." Video shows her duty pistol in her hand.
Immediately thereafter she is heard saying, “Holy s---, I shot him,” apparently realizing that she had fired her service weapon instead of her Taser, the Washington Post reports.
Gannon said he believes the officer intended to use the Taser, not her handgun, and that the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright was an accident, NPR reports.
“This appears to me — from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after — that this was an accidental discharge,” he said.
Daute Wright's mother Katie Wright said her son called her as he was getting pulled over.
“All he did was have air fresheners in the car, and they told him to get out of the car,” Wright said. During the call, she said she heard scuffling and then someone saying “Daunte, don’t run” before the call ended. When she called back, her son’s girlfriend answered and said he had been shot.
The footage showed three officers around a stopped car, which authorities said was pulled over because it had expired registration tags. When another officer attempts to handcuff Wright, a second officer tells Wright he’s being arrested on a warrant. That’s when the struggle begins, followed by the shooting. Then the car travels several blocks before striking another vehicle, TwinCities.com reports.
Gannon said the officer was a "very senior" member of the department, Cox Media reports.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott has supported calls for the officer to be fired.
The incident is being investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.