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Barack and Michelle Obama release emotional statement on police killing of Daunte Wright

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama said that the police-involved killing of a black man in Minnesota, Daunte Wright, shows ‘how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety’ in America.

‘Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,’ the former president and first lady said in a statement on Tuesday.

Wright was fatally shot by Minneapolis Police Officer Kimberly Potter on Sunday after he was pulled over for what police said were expired license plate tags.

Police said a struggle broke out when they tried to arrest Wright after running his name and realizing he had an outstanding warrant. The city’s police chief on Monday said the veteran officer had mistakenly fired her gun instead of a taser.

In his statement over the shooting, the Obamas said:  ‘The fact that this could happen even as the city of Minneapolis is going through the trial of Derek Chauvin and reliving the heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd indicates not just how important it is to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but also just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country. 

‘Michelle and I grieve alongside the Wright family for their loss. We empathize with the pain that Black mothers, father, and children are feeling after yet another senseless tragedy.

‘And we will continue to work with all fair-minded Americans to confront historical inequities and bring about nationwide changes that are so long overdue.’  

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama said that the police-involved killing of a black man in Minnesota, Daunte Wright, shows ‘how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety’ in America. The Obamas are seen above at the White House in October 2016

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama said that the police-involved killing of a black man in Minnesota, Daunte Wright, shows ‘how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety’ in America. The Obamas are seen above at the White House in October 2016

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama said that the police-involved killing of a black man in Minnesota, Daunte Wright, shows ‘how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety’ in America. The Obamas are seen above at the White House in October 2016

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death on Sunday of 20-year-old Wright (above) as 'an accidental discharge.'

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death on Sunday of 20-year-old Wright (above) as 'an accidental discharge.'

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death on Sunday of 20-year-old Wright (above) as ‘an accidental discharge.’

‘Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,’ the former president and first lady said in a statement on Tuesday

‘Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,’ the former president and first lady said in a statement on Tuesday

‘Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,’ the former president and first lady said in a statement on Tuesday

Protesters in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center clashed with police for the second night in a row in the wake of Wright’s death.

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death on Sunday of 20-year-old Wright as ‘an accidental discharge.’

It happened as police were trying to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant. 

The shooting sparked protests and unrest in a metropolitan area already on edge because of the murder trial of the first of four police officers charged in Floyd’s death.

Wright’s parents said they are refusing to accept that the cop accidentally fired her gun instead of her taser.

Wright was pulled over for what police said were expired license plate tags.

In an interview with Good Morning America on Tuesday, Wright’s parents Katie and Aubrey said they could not accept their son’s death was a mistake.  

‘I cannot accept that. I lost my son, he’s never coming back. I can’t accept a mistake, that doesn’t even sound right,’ Aubrey said. 

‘This officer has been on the force for 26 years.’ 

Wright’s mother added that she wants Potter to be held accountable for ‘everything she’s taken from us’.

Daunte Wright's parents Katie and Aubrey said they could not accept their son's death was a mistake after police revealed Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter accidentally fired her gun instead of her taser

Daunte Wright's parents Katie and Aubrey said they could not accept their son's death was a mistake after police revealed Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter accidentally fired her gun instead of her taser

Daunte Wright’s parents Katie and Aubrey said they could not accept their son’s death was a mistake after police revealed Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter accidentally fired her gun instead of her taser

Daunte Wright with his one-year-old son

Daunte Wright with his one-year-old son

Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter

Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter

Daunte Wright (left with his son) was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kimberly Potter (right) on Sunday after he was pulled over for what police said were expired license plate tags

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His aunt, Naisha Wright, had earlier called for Potter to be jailed for ‘not knowing the difference between a fully loaded pistol and a taser’.

‘Accident? An accident? No, come on now! I own a 20,000 volt taser. They don’t feel nothing like a gun,’ she told CNN. ‘My family’s blood is on their hands.’ 

Naisha has denied that her nephew’s license plate tag was expired, as police have said. She also said a misdemeanor warrant that was out for her nephew was ‘just for some weed’.   

The police officer who fatally shot Wright during a traffic stop, Kimberly Potter, apparently intended to fire a Taser, not a handgun, as he struggled with police.

‘I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!’ the officer is heard shouting on her body cam footage released at a news conference. 

She draws her weapon after the man breaks free from police outside his car and gets back behind the wheel. 

After firing a single shot from her handgun, the car speeds away, and the officer is heard saying, ‘Holy s***! I shot him.’ 

Police body cam footage of the fatal incident showed three officers approaching Daunte Wright's car in Brooklyn Center on Sunday after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop

Police body cam footage of the fatal incident showed three officers approaching Daunte Wright's car in Brooklyn Center on Sunday after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop

Police body cam footage of the fatal incident showed three officers approaching Daunte Wright’s car in Brooklyn Center on Sunday after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop

Potter could be heard shouting 'Taser!' several times in the moments before she fired her gun. Immediately after, she can be heard saying: 'I shot him'. It appears she dropped her gun in the aftermath

Potter could be heard shouting 'Taser!' several times in the moments before she fired her gun. Immediately after, she can be heard saying: 'I shot him'. It appears she dropped her gun in the aftermath

Potter could be heard shouting ‘Taser!’ several times in the moments before she fired her gun. Immediately after, she can be heard saying: ‘I shot him’. It appears she dropped her gun in the aftermath 

Crowds began gathering outside the the Brooklyn Center police station late on Monday afternoon, with hundreds there by nightfall despite the governor’s dusk-to-dawn curfew. 

A drum beat incessantly, and the crowd broke into frequent chants of ‘Daunte Wright!’ Some shouted obscenities at officers.

About 90 minutes after the curfew deadline, police began firing gas canisters and flash-bang grenades, sending clouds wafting over the crowd and chasing some away. 

Some protesters picked up smoke canisters and threw them back toward police.

Others shot fireworks toward police lines. 

A long line of police in riot gear, rhythmically pushing their clubs in front of them, began slowly forcing back the remaining crowds.

Police clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department on Monday. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death Sunday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as “an accidental discharge.” It happened as police were trying to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant

Police clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department on Monday. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death Sunday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as “an accidental discharge.” It happened as police were trying to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant

Police clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department on Monday. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death Sunday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as ‘an accidental discharge.’ It happened as police were trying to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant

A demonstrator is arrested by police for violating curfew and an order to disperse during a protest against the police shooting of Daunte Wright, late Monday

A demonstrator is arrested by police for violating curfew and an order to disperse during a protest against the police shooting of Daunte Wright, late Monday

A demonstrator is arrested by police for violating curfew and an order to disperse during a protest against the police shooting of Daunte Wright, late Monday

Protesters throw fireworks towards police as they gather outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department a day after Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Monday

Protesters throw fireworks towards police as they gather outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department a day after Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Monday

Protesters throw fireworks towards police as they gather outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department a day after Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Monday 

A Dollar Tree store that was looted has its sprinklers turned on. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz had announced a curfew from 7 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday for the three counties that include Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis and the capital of St. Paul. But hundreds of protesters defied that order and were seen gathered in the city Monday evening

‘Move back!’ the police chanted. 

‘Hands up! Don’t shoot!’ the crowd chanted back.

By 10pm, only a few dozen protesters remained.

Law enforcement agencies had stepped up their presence across the Minneapolis area after the Sunday night violence. 

The number of Minnesota National Guard troops was expected to more than double to over 1,000 by Monday night.

Cop who ‘accidentally’ shot dead Daunte Wright is a 25-year veteran who trained rookies 

 

Kimberly Potter, 48, has worked with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 25 years. 

She was training a new officer on Sunday when the fatal shooting occurred. 

Potter is a married mother of two, who was first licensed as a police officer in Minnesota in 1995 at age 22, according to state records obtained by the Star Tribune

She has served on the city’s negotiation team, and was among the first to arrive at the scene of another officer-involved shooting, in August 2019. In that case, Kobe Dimock-Heisler died after he allegedly rushed at officers with a knife in a home.  

Potter instructed the two officers involved in the 2019 incident ‘to exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras, and to not talk to each other,’ according to an investigative report from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, obtained by the paper. Both officers’ actions were found to be justified and no charges were filed. 

Potter has been a union president for her department’s officers, the paper reported, and was a longtime member of the Law Enforcement Memorial Association. 

Potter has two adult sons and lives with her husband, a former Fridley police officer, in a different Minneapolis suburb, the paper reported. 

She had annual salary of $86,190, according to public records from 2018. 

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Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott called the shooting ‘deeply tragic’ and said the officer should be fired.

‘We cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people,’ he said. 

‘We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is done and our communities are made whole.’

Elliott later announced that the city council had voted to give his office ‘command authority’ over the police department.

This ‘will streamline things and establish a chain of command and leadership,’ he wrote on Twitter. 

He also said the city manager had been fired, and that the deputy city manager would take over his duties.

The reason behind the firing was not immediately clear, but the city manager controls the police department, according to the city’s charter. 

Now-former City Manager Curt Boganey, speaking earlier to reporters, said the officer who shot Wright would get ‘due process’ after the shooting.

‘All employees working for the city of Brooklyn Center are entitled to due process with respect to discipline,’ he said.

Brooklyn Center is a modest suburb just north of Minneapolis that has seen its demographics shift dramatically in recent years. 

In 2000, more than 70 per cent of the city was white. Today, a majority of residents are black, Asian or Latino.

Elliott, the city’s first black mayor, immigrated from Liberia as a child.

Organizers from the Movement for Black Lives, a national coalition of more than 150 black-led political and advocacy groups, pointed to Wright’s killing as yet another reason why cities must take up proposals for defunding an ‘irreparably broken, racist system.’

‘The fact that police killed him just miles from where they murdered George Floyd last year is a slap in the face to an entire community,’ said Karissa Lewis, the coalition’s national field director.

The body camera footage showed three officers around a stopped car, which authorities said was pulled over because it had expired registration tags. 

When another officer attempts to handcuff Wright, a second officer tells him he’s being arrested on a warrant. 

That’s when the struggle begins, followed by the shooting. Then the car travels several blocks before striking another vehicle.

It ‘is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,’ Gannon said. 

‘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.’

Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office said in a statement.

A female passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the crash, authorities said. 

Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, said that passenger was her son’s girlfriend.

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting, identified the officer as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran who has been placed on administrative leave.

Gannon would not say whether she would be fired.

‘I think we can watch the video and ascertain whether she will be returning,’ the chief said.

Court records show Wright was being sought after failing to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.

Wright’s mother said her son called her as he was getting pulled over.

During the call, she said she heard scuffling and then someone saying ‘Daunte, don’t run’ before the call ended. 

When she called back, her son’s girlfriend answered and said he had been shot.

Police clear a strip mall of demonstrators after issuing orders to disperse during a protest against the police shooting of Daunte Wright, late Monday, April 12

Police clear a strip mall of demonstrators after issuing orders to disperse during a protest against the police shooting of Daunte Wright, late Monday, April 12

Police clear a strip mall of demonstrators after issuing orders to disperse during a protest against the police shooting of Daunte Wright, late Monday, April 12

Protesters are arrested as law enforcement clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department as a curfew remains in effect. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. April 13 2021. Protests continue in the wake of the fatal shooting of Duante Wright

Protesters are arrested as law enforcement clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department as a curfew remains in effect. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. April 13 2021. Protests continue in the wake of the fatal shooting of Duante Wright

Protesters are arrested as law enforcement clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department as a curfew remains in effect. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. April 13 2021. Protests continue in the wake of the fatal shooting of Duante Wright

Law enforcement clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department as a curfew remains in effect. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. April 13 2021

Law enforcement clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department as a curfew remains in effect. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. April 13 2021

Law enforcement clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department as a curfew remains in effect. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. April 13 2021

Protesters advance towards officers using umbrellas as shields outside Brooklyn Center Police Department

Protesters advance towards officers using umbrellas as shields outside Brooklyn Center Police Department

Protesters advance towards officers using umbrellas as shields outside Brooklyn Center Police Department

Law enforcement clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department as a curfew remains in effect. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. April 13 2021

Law enforcement clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department as a curfew remains in effect. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. April 13 2021

Law enforcement clear the streets near Brooklyn Center Police Department as a curfew remains in effect. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. April 13 2021

His brother, Dallas Bryant, told about a hundred people gathered for a candlelight vigil Monday evening that Wright sounded scared during the phone call, and questioned how the officer could accidentally reach for a gun instead of a Taser.

‘You know the difference between plastic and metal. We all know it,’ he said.

President Joe Biden urged calm after watching the body camera footage.

‘We do know that the anger, pain and trauma amidst the Black community is real,’ Biden said from the Oval Office. But that ‘does not justify violence and looting.’

Demonstrators began to gather shortly after the shooting, with some jumping atop police cars. 

Marchers also descended on the city’s police headquarters, throwing rocks and other objects. 

About 20 businesses were broken into at the city’s Shingle Creek shopping center, authorities said.

Katie Wright (left), the mother of Daunte Wright, is embraced during a vigil for her son on April 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Wright was shot and killed yesterday by Brooklyn Center police during a traffic stop

Katie Wright (left), the mother of Daunte Wright, is embraced during a vigil for her son on April 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Wright was shot and killed yesterday by Brooklyn Center police during a traffic stop

Katie Wright (left), the mother of Daunte Wright, is embraced during a vigil for her son on April 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Wright was shot and killed yesterday by Brooklyn Center police during a traffic stop

Pictured: A man blows smoke in the face of an officer outside Brooklyn Center Police Station at 6645 N. Humboldt Ave

Pictured: A man blows smoke in the face of an officer outside Brooklyn Center Police Station at 6645 N. Humboldt Ave

Pictured: A man blows smoke in the face of an officer outside Brooklyn Center Police Station at 6645 N. Humboldt Ave

Riot police stand in the middle of a crowd of protesters demonstrating after the death of Wright, outside the police station at 6645 N. Humboldt Ave

Riot police stand in the middle of a crowd of protesters demonstrating after the death of Wright, outside the police station at 6645 N. Humboldt Ave

Riot police stand in the middle of a crowd of protesters demonstrating after the death of Wright, outside the police station at 6645 N. Humboldt Ave

Tension was high as Brooklyn Center Police attempted to fortify the police station at 6645 N. Humboldt Ave. Heavily armed police officers in riot gear faced off with protesters gathered outside of the police station

Tension was high as Brooklyn Center Police attempted to fortify the police station at 6645 N. Humboldt Ave. Heavily armed police officers in riot gear faced off with protesters gathered outside of the police station

Tension was high as Brooklyn Center Police attempted to fortify the police station at 6645 N. Humboldt Ave. Heavily armed police officers in riot gear faced off with protesters gathered outside of the police station

Police officers stand guard as they face off with demonstrators outside of the Brooklyn Center police station on April 12, 2021

Police officers stand guard as they face off with demonstrators outside of the Brooklyn Center police station on April 12, 2021

Police officers stand guard as they face off with demonstrators outside of the Brooklyn Center police station on April 12, 2021

Demonstrators face off with police outside of the Brooklyn Center police station on April 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Demonstrators face off with police outside of the Brooklyn Center police station on April 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Demonstrators face off with police outside of the Brooklyn Center police station on April 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a curfew from 7 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday for the three counties that include Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis and the capital of St. Paul

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a curfew from 7 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday for the three counties that include Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis and the capital of St. Paul

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a curfew from 7 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday for the three counties that include Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis and the capital of St. Paul

At least a half-dozen businesses were boarding up their windows along Minneapolis’ Lake Street, the scene of some of the most intense violence after Floyd’s death.

National Guard vehicles were deployed to a few major intersections. 

Several professional sports teams in Minneapolis called off games because of safety concerns.

The trial of Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged in Floyd’s death, continued on Tuesday. 

Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck. 

Prosecutors say Floyd was pinned for 9 minutes, 29 seconds. 

The judge in that case refused on Monday to sequester the jury after a defense attorney argued that the panel could be influenced by the prospect of what might happen as a result of their verdict.    

Source: Daily Mail |World News

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