Fatal police shooting of unarmed Black man in Minnesota called ‘accidental’

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Racial tensions and protests erupted once again in Minneapolis after an unarmed Black man was “accidentally” shot and killed by a cop just a few miles from where George Floyd died.

An unidentified cop in the neighboring suburb of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, inadvertently killed Daunte Wright, 20, on Sunday, April 11, 2021, when she meant to fire her stun gun at Wright but instead shot him with her firearm, NBC News reports.

At the press conference, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as “an accidental discharge” during an emotional press conference.

NBC News states that authorities stopped the vehicle Wright was driving due to an expired registration. Officers quickly determined during the traffic stop that Wright also had an outstanding warrant, which is an automatically arrestable offense. Wright reportedly tried to get back in his vehicle to flee. The cop fired her handgun and hit Wright with a single fatal shot. The car reportedly traveled a few blocks before crashing into another vehicle.

During the playing of the bodycam video at the press conference, the officer can be heard yelling “Taser! Taser! Taser!” But when the shot was fired from the officer’s gun, she then yelled “Holy s—! I shot him.”

The police chief would only characterize the officer as “very senior,” but refused to state specifically the possible career ramifications she would face resulting from the accidental shooting.  However, Chief Gannon did make the following telling statement: “I think we can watch the video and ascertain whether she will be returning,” the chief said at the press conference. The unidentified officer is now on administrative leave.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott characterized the episode as “deeply tragic” at the press conference.

“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is done and our communities are made whole,” Elliott said.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a state police agency, has taken over the investigation while Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has called in the national guard to monitor the mass demonstration.

Brooklyn Center’s mayor is also pleading for calm and peaceful protests.

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