BREAKING NEWS: Cops say officer ‘accidentally drew her handgun instead of her Taser’ when she shot Minneapolis black man dead during traffic stop for ‘air freshener hanging from mirror’
A female police officer who shot dead a 20-year-old black man during a traffic stop in Minneapolis accidentally fired her gun instead of her taser during a struggle, the police chief says.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon on Monday described the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright as ‘an accidental discharge’.
Wright was shot dead on Sunday afternoon after he was pulled over during a traffic stop for what his mother said was air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota.
Gannon revealed during a tense press conference that he believed the officer who shot Wright accidentally drew her handgun instead of a taser.
He released police body cam footage of the incident that showed three officers approaching Wright’s car after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop.
The footage showed an officer trying to handcuff Wright before he tried to get back in his car and flee.
A struggle broke out between the officers and Wright.
The female officer could be heard shouting ‘Taser!’ several times in the moments before she fired her gun.
Police body cam footage of the incident showed the officer screaming ‘taser, taser’ as the officers struggled with Daunte Wright in his car in the moments before the shooting
Daunte Wright, 20, was shot dead on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Center after he was pulled over during a traffic stop for what his mother said was air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror
‘This was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr Wright,’ Gannon said.
‘For informational purposes we train with our handguns on our dominant side, and our taser on our weak side. If you’re right-handed you carry your firearm on your right side and your carry your taser on the left. This is done purposefully, and it’s trained.
‘As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser, but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet.’
The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is the agency investigating Wright’s death.
The name of the officer who fired the fatal shot has not been released.
Wright’s death sparked violent protests overnight with officers in riot gear clashing with demonstrators.
The unrest came just hours before the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, was set to resume in a courtroom on Monday.
Protestors and City of Brooklyn Center Police Officers clash outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Sunday night
The National Guard was called in to calm the chaos and a curfew was imposed to quell angry demonstrations over the shooting death of Daunte Wright on Sunday in the Brooklyn Center neighborhood