Family Searches for Answers After Son Killed by Police

A 20-year old black man named Daunte Wright was shot on April 11 by a police officer named Kim Potter. Wright was pulled over because of a traffic violation, but police on the scene discovered Wright had an outstanding warrant. As Wright tried to get back into his car while he was getting arrested, Potter, who is white, shot him in the chest, causing him to die. Allegedly, Potter meant to grab her taser instead of her gun but didn’t notice the difference between the weapons, even after being a 26-year veteran of the force.

There are many differences between a taser and a gun. There is a distinct difference in color as a taser is a bright yellow solely to distinguish it from pistols. The pistol weighs much more; the grip size in a standard gun is much larger than on tasers. Both the taser and the gun are on the hips of police officers specifically to distinguish this as the weapon is on the dominant hand side. The differences should never be confused by a veteran law enforcement officer.

The police chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as “an accidental discharge.” This wrong is so disrespectful to say it was an accident to Wright’s family and friends. Since the incident, Wright’s parents have shared their opinion on this tragic story too many black people have gone through at an alarming rate lately.

“I know my son. He was scared. He still [had] the mind of a 17-year-old because we babied him,” Wright’s mother told The Outlet.

“If he was resisting an arrest, you could tase him. I don’t understand it.” said his father.

On Thursday, Katie Wright, his mother, said, “The last few days, everybody has asked me what we want. What do we want to see happen? And everybody keeps saying justice. But unfortunately, there’s never going to be justice for us.”

Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the Wright family, compared this case to law enforcement in Arkansas. “This white man was resisting arrest, BEATING A COP with his own baton, and driving away in their police car, and there is not one taser or gun in sight… yet Daunte Wright was killed for a minor traffic violation. #TwoAmericas.”

“I can’t accept that—a mistake, that doesn’t even sound right,” Aubrey Wright, Daunte’s father, said. “This officer has been on the force for 26 years. I can’t accept that.”

Imagine the unbearable pain that his family is going through, let alone every black man scared of getting pulled over because there’s a chance of them getting killed for no reason. Since Sunday, there have been protests in the suburb of Brooklyn Center and places near where Wright was killed.

“He had 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 Tuesday while she was on Good Morning America.

Wright’s mentor in High school, Jonathan Mason, said he was a gregarious, popular student who had many friends. “He was a charismatic kid. He would joke with you, and he was so witty,” Mason said. “He was one of those kids that everybody looked up to.” Mason recalled how he talked about how Daunte wanted to be an NBA player, fashion designer, and business owner.

Many described him as a bright and beautiful boy, and it’s so sad to see him gone in such a terrible way that never should’ve happened.

Sources contributing to this story: