Daunte Wright’s father says he “cannot accept” the police claim that the officer who fatally shot his son meant to fire a Taser instead of a gun because his son is “never coming back.”
“Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts on Tuesday asked Aubrey Wright, the father of the 20-year-old Black man killed during a traffic stop outside of Minneapolis over the weekend, if he could accept the police explanation that it was “an accidental shooting.”
“I cannot accept that,” Wright answered. “I lost my son. He’s never coming back. I can’t accept that. A mistake? That doesn’t sound right. This officer has been on the force for 26 years. I can’t accept that.”
Daunte Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, added in the interview: “I would like to see justice served and her held accountable for everything that she’s taken from us.”
Daunte Wright was pulled over in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, for what authorities said was a traffic violation. During a struggle captured on police bodycam video, Officer Kimberly Potter, a 26-year veteran, draws a weapon and yells “Taser, Taser, Taser.” She fires one round, then cries, “Holy shit, I just shot him.”
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said at a news conference on Monday that the bodycam video shows “the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.”
“This appears to me, from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright,” Gannon said.
Katie Wright told Roberts she was on the phone with her son after the police stopped him and heard him ask: “For what, am I in trouble?”
“I heard the phone getting put down pretty hard,” she said on “GMA.” “And then I heard scuffling and the girl that was with him screaming, and I heard an officer ask for them to hang up the phone, and then I didn’t hear anything else.”
Through tears, Katie Wright said she attempted to call her son back several times. Finally, Daunte’s passenger answered and said he’d been shot and “was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”
“Then I heard an officer ask her to hang up the phone again and then after that, that’s the last time I’ve seen my son. I haven’t seen him since,” Katie Wright said.
Daunte Wright’s death, just outside Minneapolis, further inflamed ongoing tensions over racial injustice and police brutality. His killing, as the weekslong murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin enters its final phase, has sparked protests for the past two nights.
Chauvin’s killing of George Floyd in May 2020 touched off nationwide protests.