The 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, the police chief says.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon on Monday described the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright a day earlier 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.
Gannon revealed during a tense press conference that he believed the officer who shot Wright accidentally drew her handgun instead of a taser.
Police body cam footage of the incident showed the officer screaming ‘taser, taser’ as the officers struggled with Wright in his car.
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.’
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.