What You Need to Know?
On multiple nights, hundreds of protestors flooded the streets of Brooklyn Center in Minn. after Dante Wright was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop.
The shooting caused more anxiety and frustration in the Twin Cities, where Derek Chauvin (an ex-police officer from Minneapolis) was being tried for George Floyd’s murder. Later, Mr. Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of Mr. Floyd.
This is what we know about Dante Wright Brooklyn Center
Chief Tim Gannon, Brooklyn Center Police Department, stated that officers pulled Wright over for violating traffic laws relating to expired registration tags on April 11. Officers discovered that Wright had a warrant for his capture.
Chief Gannon stated that Wright retreated into his car as the police attempted to arrest him.
One officer can be seen holding a gun at him and shouting “Taser” in graphic body camera footage that was shown to reporters the next morning. According to the video, the officer then shouts obscenities and says “I just shot him” two more times to other officers.
The car drove several blocks before colliding with another vehicle. Police and medical personnel declared Mr. Wright dead on the spot.
- Chief Gannon stated, “It is my belief the officer intended to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with one bullet.”
- Hennepin County’s medical examiner determined that Wright had died from a gunshot to the chest the day following the shooting.
- Katie Wright, Mr. Wright’s mother, said to Dante Wright reporters, that her son called her while he was being pulled over.
- She said that he claimed they pulled him over because he was wearing air fresheners on his rearview mirror.
Ms. Wright claimed that her son had dropped the phone or put it down. She then heard “scuffling” as an officer told Mr. Wright to not run. She said that someone then hung up. A woman who was in the car with him answered her call and said that he had been killed.
Police responded by confronting demonstrators.
His mother encouraged peaceful protesters to remain calm on the day of Mr. Wright’s death, at a vigil close to the scene.
She said, “We want justice to Daunte.” “We don’t want it all to be about this violence.”
Hours later, protesters shouted slogans and hurled cans at officers outside Brooklyn Center Police Department. An official claimed that at least 20 businesses in a nearby mall were broken into.
After declaring the protests illegal, the police would sometimes fire projectiles into the crowds. Authorities in the region had established curfews.
Kimberly Potter trial and the murder of Dante Wright
Dante Wright (20 years old) was killed and shot during a Brooklyn Center traffic stop on April 11, 2021. According to the city’s police chief, Kimberly Potter (26-year veteran of police) had intended to stun Dante Wright with her Taser gun, but accidentally pulled her handgun and fired one time.
The death of Wright sparked protests for days. Officer Potter who shot Wright resigned just two days after the shooting, along with Chief Tim Gannon, police chief. Potter was charged with manslaughter in the first and second degrees.
Dante Wright’s death: US ‘Taser Mix-up’ ex-officer guilty manslaughter
An ex-police officer from Minnesota has been found guilty in the April shooting death of a motorist of color.
Kim Potter, 49, said she mistakenly drew her gun instead Taser, and that she killed Dante Wright (20) during a traffic stop.
- His death took place during high tensions. George Floyd was being tried for murder nearby.
- Potter’s sentencing is scheduled for 18 February.
The 12 jurors deliberated for nearly 27 hours over four days before convicting her of both the charges she faced.
First-degree manslaughter is the first charge against Potter. This applies to cases where the defendant causes death of another person while trying to commit a lesser offense.
Potter was accused by the prosecution of murdering Wright because of her “reckless” handling a firearm.
If a death is due to negligence or the taking of an unreasonable risk, the second charge, second-degree murderer, is used.
The first offense carries a maximum penalty period of 15 years, as well as a fine up to $30,000 (PS22,000). The second offense is punishable with up to 10 years imprisonment and a $20,000 penalty.
What was the Reaction?
- Potter remained focused on the verdict, looking only briefly at the jurors as her lawyers placed their hands on the shoulders.
- Judge Regina Chu ordered her to be taken into custody, and she was held without bail until sentencing.
- According to court reporters, one of her relatives was heard calling out “love Kim” while she was being handcuffed. She replied “love You”,
- A crowd cheered outside the courthouse, some shouting Mr Wright’s name, and others chanting “the people cannot be defeated”.
Dante Wright: “One of those children everybody looked up too.”
Katie Wright, Mr Wright’s mother, spoke to reporters and said that she felt every emotion possible as the verdict was read. She also stated that it had been a long fight for accountability.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison stated that the guilty verdict shows the world that people who enforce the law are willing to live by it.
“My thoughts are also with Mrs. Potter today,” Mr Ellison said, adding that she was “remorseful” but wished “the best for her family.”
“But she will be able communicate with them regardless of what happens.” Daunte will not be able talk to the Wrights.
Brooklyn Center police arrested Mr Wright on 11 April for an outstanding warrant for a weapons violation.
Potter’s defense team claimed that the shooting occurred while Mr Wright was resisting arrest.
The bodycam footage of Potter from police was shown during the trial. It showed Potter shouting “Taser,” before firing one shot from her pistol.
Potter can be seen later crying on the street. Potter can be heard crying on the pavement after she says that she grabbed the wrong gun and that she thought she would end up in prison.
This incident occurred as Derek Chauvin, a former police officer, was being tried in Minneapolis.
Earl Gray, defense attorney, stated Monday that Wright’s actions ultimately led to his suicide. He also said it was difficult to prove Potter intentionally sought to end his life.
“How can you recklessly, consciously, and with a gun when you don’t even know that you have it?” Mr Gray asked. Mr Gray asked.
Prosecutors claimed that Potter, a 26-year-old veteran officer, should have known the difference in a Taser and a gun.
Erin Eldridge, Assistant Minnesota Attorney General, argued that the case was about “recklessness” and “negligence”.
Matt Frank, another prosecutor, stated that there was no “mistake” defense during closing arguments.
Is this case likely to have an even greater impact?
Ayesha Bell Haraway, an associate professor of law at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, and codirector of Dante Wright Social Justice Institute, stated to the BBC that it was “very rare” for police officers in Ohio to be held legally liable for deaths in the line-of-duty.
She said that Potter’s conviction could send a strong message to all police forces in the country.
She stated that it would almost be a given that officers should be held to the exact same standards as us for reckless behavior because the consequences can be so severe. “But the Wright family has no other choice.