Daunte Wright’s family call for more serious charges against white police officer accused of killing him

Robert Dex
·2-min read
<p>Katie Wright, mother of Duante Wright,  during a news conference at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Minneapolis. </p> (AP)

Katie Wright, mother of Duante Wright, during a news conference at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Minneapolis.

(AP)

Daunte Wright’s family has called for more serious charges against the white police officer accused of killing him.

They joined community leaders in comparing the case to a murder charge brought against a black officer who killed a white woman in nearby Minneapolis.

Former Brooklyn Centre police Officer Kim Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter in Sunday’s shooting of 20-year-old Mr Wright, who was black.

The former police chief in Brooklyn Centre, a majority non-white suburb, said Potter mistakenly fired her handgun when she meant to use her Taser and both the chief and Potter resigned.

Potter, who was released on 100,000 US dollars bond hours after her arrest Wednesday, appeared alongside her lawyer, Earl Gray, at her initial appearance Thursday over Zoom, saying very little.

Mr Gray kept his camera on himself for most of the hearing, swivelling it just to show Potter only briefly.

Her next court appearance was set for May 17

Mr Wright’s mother Katie said: “Unfortunately, there’s never going to be justice for us.

“Justice isn’t even a word to me. I do want accountability.”

Wright family lawyer Ben Crump said “full accountability, to get equal justice” is all the family wants - “nothing more, nothing less”.

Mr Crump and other advocates for Mr Wright point to the 2017 case of Mohamed Noor, a black policeman who shot dead Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a white woman who was dual citizen of the US and Australia, in the alley behind her home after she called 911 to report what she thought was a woman being assaulted

He was convicted of third-degree murder in addition to second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison. Potter’s charge carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Mr Wright’s death came as the broader Minneapolis area awaits the outcome of the trial for Derek Chauvin, one of four officers charged in George Floyd’s death.

Mr Crump pointed to that trial as having the potential to set a precedent for “police officers being held accountable and sent to prison for killing black people”.

Police say Mr Wright was pulled over for expired tags, but they sought to arrest him after discovering he had an outstanding warrant. The warrant was for his failure to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.

Naisha Wright, Daunte Wright’s aunt, grew emotional at news conference with other family members, saying, “Can we get a conviction?

“Can we get something?

“Manslaughter?”

Mr Wright’s funeral will be April 22 at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis, his lawyer said.

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