ST. PAUL — The father of Daunte Wright said he can’t accept the Brooklyn Center police chief’s explanation that an officer accidentally shot the 20-year-old when she meant to use a Taser on him.
“I cannot accept that I lost my son,” Aubrey Wright said Tuesday, April 13, on “Good Morning America.” “He’s never coming back. I can’t accept that. A mistake? … That doesn’t even sound right.”
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said Wednesday morning that Kim Potter, 48, the Brooklyn Center police officer who fatally shot Wright, will be charged with second-degree manslaughter. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. She had been with Brooklyn Center for 26 years before resigning Tuesday.
“She was a training officer and so it’s not about training, it’s about implicit bias,” said attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Wright’s parents and appeared with them on ABC. “… We can’t have these two Americas, one where we treat Black Americans different from white Americans in policing.”
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He asked, 'Am I in trouble?'
Wright called his mother when he was being stopped. He told her it because he had air fresheners hanging in the rearview mirror, Katie Wright said. Officers told him to step out of the car and he asked, “For what? Am I in trouble?,” according to his mother.
“The officer said, ‘We’re going to explain that when you step out of the car,'” she continued. “… They asked him to put the phone down. … Then I heard scuffling and the girl that was with him (in the vehicle) screaming.” An officer asked for them to hang up the phone and Wright said she didn’t hear anything else.
Wright said she tried calling back several times until the young woman with her son answered and told her, “They shot him,” Katie Wright said as she cried.
She said she didn’t know how the incident escalated.
“I know my son was scared,” Katie Wright said. “He’s afraid of the police and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice, but I don’t know why. And it should have never, ever escalated the way it did.”
Authorities said police pulled Wright over because the vehicle he was driving had expired registration tags. An officer attempted to handcuff him and a second officer said he was being arrested on a warrant. A struggle began and Potter shot him.
No gun was found in or near the vehicle that Wright was pulled over in, according to police.
Daunte Wright “was an amazing, loving kid” with a big heart, his mother said. He was a father, a brother, an uncle and a grandson.
“He loved basketball,” she said. “He had a 2-year-old son that’s not going to be able to play basketball with him. … We had our hearts pulled out of our chest. He was my baby.”