Twenty-year-old Daunte Wright was killed Sunday during a traffic stop by a Minneapolis area police officer who allegedly mistook her gun for a Taser. A 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Kimberly Potter resigned and has been arrested on second-degree manslaughter charges.
The killing — and presumed deadly error — was caught on the officer’s body camera, yet the head of Minnesota’s largest police union blames Wright, the victim, for his own death.
Potter is a member of the police union.
“This is going to be an unpopular statement,” said Brian Peters, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, in an April 14 WCCO news talk radio interview. “Daunte Wright … if he would have just compiled. He was told he was under arrest. They were arresting him on a warrant for weapons. He set off a chain of events that unfortunately led to his death.”
“I’m not excusing it,” Peters continued. “But what we’re seeing in policing these days is that non-compliance by the public.”
The statement comes one day after Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon and Potter both resigned, The New York Post reported. Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey was fired after Wright’s killing.
Police union executive Peters accused Mike Elliott, Brooklyn Center’s first Black mayor, of allowing activists to run the show.
“This is way over his head,” Peters said, referring to Mayor Elliott. “Both Curt Boganey and Tim Gannon were political pawns in whatever game the current mayor is playing. If I were the mayor, I would not allow the political activists to run the show.”
Police say Wright was pulled over for expired tags but they discovered he had an outstanding warrant and attempted to arrest him. The warrant was for failure to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed an unlicensed gun back in June, AP News reported.
There have been protests in front of the Brooklyn Center Police headquarters each night since Wright’s death.
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While Wright’s family has called for nonviolent protests, they are also demanding answers — and that his story be told.
“He has a 2-year-old son that’s not going to be able to play basketball with him. He had sisters and brothers that he loved so much,” his mother Katie Wright said on “Good Morning America.”