Brooklyn Center PD Chief: Officer Thought She Was Firing Taser
Brooklyn Center, MN (KROC-AM News) - The fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Black man by a Brooklyn Center Police officer is being blamed on "accidental discharge."
Those were the words of Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon as he disclosed the officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright thought she was holding her Taser but actually had grabbed her handgun and fired the weapon during a struggle involving three officers and the 20-year-old man. Gannon says the officer has been placed on paid leave while the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducts a criminal investigation.
A recording of the deadly shooting was played during today's news conference. It shows officers attempting to place Wright under arrest for an outstanding warrant following a traffic stop when he manages to break and jump back into the driver's seat of a car. While the officers were attempting to pull him back out of the vehicle, a female officer can be heard yelling, "Taser, Taser!" before her hand holding a gun comes into view and she fires one shot at Wright just before the car speeds away. The office then yells, "(explicative)...I just shot him."
Wright's car traveled several blocks before crashing into another vehicle before he died. A female passenger was treated for non-life threatening injuries, while the occupants of the second vehicle were not hurt.
The fatal shooting led to protests that later turned violent. Chief Gannon described the property damage that occurred as some of the worst he has seen in the 27-years he has been a member of the community. While stressing his department's support of peaceful protests, he also stated, "the ravaging of your businesses, the looting of our stores, the destruction to our pharmacies...we cannot tolerate that."