The Shooting of Daunte Wright


Picture by Melissa Canales

By Anicia Aguilar, Staff Writer

At the time of Daunte Wright’s murder, the trial of Derek Chauvin was still ongoing. So while in the middle of a former Minneapolis police officer’s trial surrounding the death of George Floyd, there was another instance of a cop murdering a Black man in broad daylight.


On Sunday, April 11, an officer fatally shot twenty-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, about ten miles from where Chauvin was on trial in the killing of Floyd. According to Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, the twenty-year-old was pulled over for a traffic violation related to expired registration tags.


During the traffic stop, the officers discovered an outstanding warrant for Daunte’s arrest and attempted to arrest him. When he tried to get back into the car, Kim Potter pulled out a handgun and shot him. The Brooklyn Center Police Department has claimed that Potter meant to use her taser, not her gun. Chief Gannon stated, “It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.” However, this excuse does not bring the twenty-year-old father of a one-year-old child back, and it does not bring justice.


Mr. Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters that her son had called her as he was being pulled over. She stated, “He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror.” She then noted that the phone was dropped after an officer told her son not to run. Then, the call ended. When she called again, Mr. Wright’s girlfriend, who had been in the car with him, told her that her son had been shot.


The officer responsible for his death, Kim Potter, has resigned from the police. On April 14, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state agency investigating police killings in Minnesota, stated that Potter had been taken into custody. She now faces a charge of second-degree manslaughter. Hopefully, she will be found guilty, and Wright’s family can get justice. His mother stated, “We want justice for Daunte.”


George Floyd’s death and now Daunte Wright’s death have added to the number of Black men killed by police. According to an NPR investigation, “Since 2015, police officers have fatally shot at least 135 unarmed Black men and women nationwide. NPR reviewed police, court, and other records to examine the details of the cases. At least 75% of the officers were white.”


Police officers have to be held accountable for their actions. They should not be able to murder innocent people and continue to be in the police force. In the case of Daunte Wright’s killer, if a cop is unable to differentiate between her handgun and her taser, they should find a different career. There needs to be reform so this issue is handled and innocent people stop being murdered.