‘I can’t accept that’: Daunte Wright’s parents hit out at ‘mistake’ explanation for son’s death

James Crump
·3-min read
<p>Katie and Aubrey Wright speaking on Tuesday 13 April</p> ((ABC News))

Katie and Aubrey Wright speaking on Tuesday 13 April

((ABC News))

Daunte Wright’s parents have spoken out about their son’s death, saying that they “can’t accept” that his killing was “a mistake”.

Mr Wright, an unarmed father of a two-year-old, was fatally shot by Brooklyn Centre officer Kimberly Potter, a veteran of 26 years of the force, on Sunday afternoon while driving with his girlfriend.

He was pulled over by officers for having an air freshener dangling from his rear view mirror, an offence in Minnesota, and was subsequently fatally shot while attempting to re-enter his vehicle following a short struggle.

The footage showed the officer warning “taser, taser”, as police are trained to do when using the non-lethal device, but Ms Potter ended up firing with a gun, instantly reacting: “Holy s***, I just shot him”. She resigned on Tuesday afternoon.

In a press conference on Monday, police chief Tim Gannon said that it was “an accidental discharge that resulted in the death of Mr Wright” and claimed that the officer intended to use her taser.

At the same press conference, Brooklyn Center mayor Mike Elliott said: “My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession,” as he added that he “fully support[s] releasing the officer of her duties.”

Speaking to Good Morning America on Tuesday morning, Mr Wright’s father, Aubrey Wright, was asked by host Robin Roberts if he “accepted” those remarks.

He replied “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.”

Mr Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, also revealed during the interview that she spoke to her son on the phone during the traffic stop on Sunday, hearing him ask the officer: “For what, am I in trouble?”

She said that the phone was put down, “and then I heard scuffling and the girl that was with him screaming, and I heard an officer ask for them to hang up the phone and then I didn’t hear anything else”.

With tears streaming down her face, Ms Wright said that she tried to call him back “three, four times” and revealed that the woman who “was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.

“And then I heard an officer ask her to hang up the phone again and then after that, that’s the last time I’ve seen my son. I haven’t seen him since.”

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On Monday evening, around 40 people were arrested, as police fired tear gas at protesters outside the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota police precinct, who had gathered in reaction to Mr Wright’s death.

The authorities revealed that there were five instances of burglaries in the area during the protest, as a local Dollar Tree store had its windows damaged, while smoke was seen originating from inside it.

Graffiti was also sprayed on the outside of the shop, including: “No Justice No Peace” and Mr Wright’s initials: “D.W.”

However, the police revealed that some officers deployed chemical irritants and flashbangs to disperse protesters, despite banning those practices earlier in the night.

Speaking on Tuesday, Ms Wright thanked those who demonstrated, saying: “I want to say thank you so much for the support and standing by us and making sure that my son’s name doesn’t get swept under the rug.”

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