On Monday Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon attempted to explain the wrongful death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by police during an April 11 traffic stop.
While addressing reporters on Monday, Gannon said that Wright’s death occurred after an officer made an “accidental discharge” from her gun, instead of using her intended taser.
In addition to the announcement, Gannon showed video footage of the deadly encounter.
According to The Washington Post:
“The video, which was played at a news conference, shows two officers approach the vehicle — one on each side. The third officer approaches later as the two attempt to handcuff Wright and he struggles. The third officer threatens to Wright that she will tase him before firing.
While the officer’s name has not yet been released, Gannon’s comment signals that the officer identifies as a woman. After the shooting, authorities announced the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will lead the investigation.
In Minnesota demonstrators gathered locally and in nearby Minneapolis, a community less than 15 miles away, still reeling after the death of George Floyd. On Sunday leading into Monday clashes between the police and large crowds of demonstrators gathered in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department took place.
“Nothing has fundamentally changed since the killing of George Floyd. Nothing,” Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told The Post. “Police officers can still do whatever they’ve been doing without any measure of accountability.
On social media, Gannon’s announcement harkened back to the 2009 New Year’s Day shooting of Oscar Grant, one of the original cases that began the Black Lives Matter movement, prior to it being formally named.
Grant, 22, was killed by BART officers after detaining Grant and several other passengers on the platform after reports of a fight broke out. After Grant’s death, Johannes Mehserle, the officer who fatally shot him in the back, claimed he grabbed his gun instead of his taser.
During an interview with CNN, former police chief Charles Ramsey stated that most departments across the country changed their policy after Grant’s murder to ensure it would not happen again.
Local activist groups fatigued with the repeated deaths of Black people at the hands of police spoke out with rightful anger and grief over the weekend’s events.
“This weekend, we watched our community come together to mourn another loss of Black life; Daunte Wright was 20 years old and his life was cut short on Sunday,” Miski Noor, Co-Executive Director for Black Visions, said in a statement sent to NewsOne. “How many more losses must we mourn? The pain of George Floyd’s shooting is still scarred into our minds and yet history continues to repeat itself because of a rotten and racist institution. For too long, law enforcement and the legal system have continued to racially profile, harass, arrest, and murder Black people more harshly than the rest of America.”
“A traffic stop should not be a death sentence,” she continued. “Daunte Wright should still be here, and his death and the many who were murdered by police before him, highlight a clear and concise need for safety beyond policing, and a new department of safety governed by the community.”
According to Noor, coordinated efforts are being made to host a vigil for Wright at George Floyd Square in nearby Minneapolis.