America has a serious problem.
As the George Floyd trial continues, another Black life has been taken just miles away from where his murder took place. The same cause — a police officer doing the opposite of their job to serve and protect.
This time it’s 20-year Daunte Wright. The Black man shot and killed by a white Minnesota police officer in a suburb on Sunday (April 11).
“I lost my son, he’s never coming back,” said Aubrey Wright, Daunte Wright’s father during an interview on “Good Morning America.”
According to Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, Daunte Wright was driving in Brooklyn Center just 10 miles northwest of Minneapolis when he was initially stopped by police on Sunday afternoon for an expired registration tag on his car.
During the traffic stop, it was determined that he had an outstanding gross misdemeanor warrant.
As officer Kim Potter attempted to take him into custody, she fired her weapon, striking him as he attempted to reenter his vehicle.
Per the Brooklyn Center Police Department, the 26-year veteran officer “intended to deploy her Taser instead of her gun when she ‘accidentally’ shot Daunte Wright.
“I can’t accept that — a mistake, that doesn’t even sound right,” continued Daunte Wright’s father. “This officer has been on the force for 26 years. I can’t accept that.”
His mother, Katie Wright also tells ABC News that she spoke with her son just minutes before he was killed by the police. She recalls the phone call where he mentioned that he had been pulled over for having air fresheners hanging in his rearview mirror.
She also mentions that she instructed her son to take the air fresheners down and to let her speak with the police over the phone if they asked for his car insurance so that she could give them the information. It was during the call that his mother heard police ask Daunte Wright to step outside of the vehicle.
“Daunte said, ‘For what, am I in trouble?’ I heard the phone getting put down pretty hard,” said Katie Wright. “And then I heard scuffing and the girl that was with him screaming, and I heard an officer ask them to hang up the phone, and then I didn’t hear anything else.”
“I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive,” she continued as tears strolled down her face. “And 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 since.”
While she is unsure as to why the situation escalated, Katie Wright says that she’s sure of one thing — her son feared the police.
“I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice,” she added. “But I don’t know why and it should have never escalated the way it did.”
She describes Daunte Wright as an amazing, loving kid with a big heart, bright smile, and love for basketball.
“He had a 2-year-old son that’s not going to be able to play basketball with him,” said Katie Wright. ” He had sisters and brothers that he loved so much. He just had his whole life taken away from him. We had our hearts pulled out of our chests. He was my baby.”
Now, Daunte Wright’s parents want to see “justice served” and for the officer who shot and killed their son to be “held accountable for everything that she’s taken from us.”
The Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott has said that he fully supports releasing the officer of her duties.
“My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession,” Elliott told reporters during a press conference on Monday (April 12).
According to a preliminary report released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner on Monday evening, Daunte Wright died from a gunshot wound to the chest and his death has been ruled as a homicide.