National Guard deployed in Minneapolis after fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright
National Guard deployed in Minneapolis after fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright

Cop who killed Daunte Wright resigns

Kim Potter, the police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright on Sunday has resigned from the Brooklyn Centre Police Department where she had served for 26 years.

Ms Potter, 48, sent a letter to city officials offering her immediate resignation.

The city's police chief Tim Gannon has also announced that he is leaving.

Fresh protests broke out Monday night in Minneapolis despite a curfew, fuelling tensions in a US city already on edge because of the George Floyd murder trial.

Dozens of protesters waved signs and chanted slogans in front of the police station in Brooklyn Centre, the suburb where Sunday's killing occurred.

Demonstrators taunted police through newly erected wire fencing around the station, and carried signs saying "Jail all racist killer cops," "Am I next?" and "No justice, no peace." Police fired tear gas at the protesters several times and ordered them to disperse for the second consecutive night.

 

About 40 people were arrested, several officers suffered minor injuries and there was sporadic looting elsewhere in the area, law enforcement officials said.

Demonstrations took place in New York, Seattle and Portland, too.

Convulsed by two converging cases of racially charged violence, Minneapolis was still grappleing with tragedy on Tuesday as the father of the latest police shooting victim said he "can't accept" that his son's killing was a mistake.

Wright was shot dead during a traffic stop by Potter whom the force later said appeared to have confused her handgun with her taser, in a horrible accident. The victim's father Aubrey angrily rejected the explanation.

"A mistake? That doesn't even sound right," he told ABC television, sitting alongside his sobbing wife Katie. "I can't accept that. I've lost my son. He's never coming back."

In an act of solidarity, members of the Floyd and Wright families were to join forces later on Tuesday and publicly speak out against police brutality and systemic discrimination that has prompted an American reckoning on racial injustice.

Shortly before the families were to speak, prosecutors rested their case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer on trial for murder and manslaughter in the case of Floyd, whose death last year shocked the nation.

Former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama issued a potent statement on Tuesday, saying they "empathise with the pain" that Black parents and children are feeling after such a loss.

"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," they said.

Brooklyn Centre is nine 15 kilometres northwest of the heavily guarded Hennepin County Government Centre where Chauvin is on trial.

 

'HOLY S**T, I JUST SHOT HIM': COP'S FATAL BLUNDER

The policewoman who fatally shot a 20-year-old black man in a Minneapolis suburb accidentally confused her handgun with her taser, police said on Monday, local time, fuelling tensions in this city already on edge because of the George Floyd murder trial.

"The officer drew their handgun instead of their taser," Brooklyn Centre police chief Tim Gannon said at a press conference about Sunday's shooting of Daunte Wright.

Mr Gannon, who has since stepped down, said it was his belief that the officer, who has been placed on leave pending an investigation, "had the intention to deploy their taser but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet."

"This was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr Wright," Mr Gannon said. "There is nothing I can say to lessen the pain of Mr Wright's family."

Mr Gannon showed reporters police body camera video of the shooting, which sparked protests overnight and looting of a shopping mall.

In the video, police officers are seen pulling Mr Wright out of his car after stopping him for a traffic violation and discovering he had an outstanding warrant.

As Mr Wright scuffles with the officers and gets back into the driver's seat of the car, a female police officer shouts "I'll tase you" and then "taser, taser, taser."

"Holy s**t, I shot him," the officer says as Mr Wright, fatally wounded, drives away.

 

Cop mistook gun for Taser before shooting 20-year-old man dead in Minnesota: A black man was killed during a traffic stop in Minnesota and fatally shot by a cop who mistook her gun for a Taser.

 

 

 

 

The protests overnight prompted the defence lawyer for former officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder and manslaughter charges for George Floyd's death, to ask the judge presiding over the high-profile case to sequester the jury.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin's lawyer, said he was concerned that the protests over Wright's death could influence the jurors.

"A verdict in this case is going to have consequences," Mr Nelson said. "Will the jury be confident to make a decision regardless of the potential outcome of their decision?" Prosecutors opposed the request to sequester the jury and so did the judge.

"This is a totally different case," Judge Peter Cahill said. "I'm not going to sequester them. We'll sequester them on Monday when I anticipate doing closing," he said, referring to closing arguments.

It comes as protests broke out in the early hours of Monday morning, local time, after US police fatally shot a young Black man in a suburb of Minneapolis - where a former police officer is currently on trial for the murder of George Floyd.

The shooting occurred just 16 kilometres from where George Floyd was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the police station in Brooklyn Centre, northwest of Minneapolis, with police later firing teargas and flash bangs to disperse the crowd, according to an AFP video journalist.

By around midnight local time, the National Guard was on the scene, police had declared an illegal assembly, and the Brooklyn Centre mayor said he would "be issuing a curfew order shortly".

 

 

The mother of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, told a crowd earlier on Sunday evening that he called her to say he had been pulled over by police, local media reported.

Katie Wright said she heard officers tell her son to put his phone down, and then one of the officers ended the call.

Soon after, her son's girlfriend told her he had been shot.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed to AFP it was "investigating an officer-involved shooting incident" in Brooklyn Centre but declined to identify the victim.

According to a statement from the Brooklyn Centre Police Department, officers pulled over a driver for a traffic violation. When they discovered he had an outstanding warrant, they tried to take him into custody.

He got back into his car, and one of the officers fired their weapon, striking the driver, who died at the scene.

A female passenger in the car suffered "non-life threatening injuries" and was transported to a local hospital, said the statement, which did not identify the woman.

Photos from the protest showed men stomping on the windshield of a police cruiser. Police fired rubber bullets to try to disperse the protesters, according to the Star Tribune.

After about an hour, the police presence eased, and the crowd lit candles and wrote messages such as "Justice for Daunte Wright" in chalk on the street.

Brooklyn Centre mayor Mike Elliott called the shooting "tragic".

"We are asking the protesters to continue to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with force," he posted on Twitter.

But clashes broke out again soon after as another group of several hundred protesters gathered outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Headquarters and were met with teargas and flash bangs.

The shooting comes during the ongoing trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing charges of manslaughter and murder over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.

Mr Floyd's killing sparked months of protests in the United States against racism and police brutality and attracted international outrage.

 

Originally published as Cop who killed Daunte Wright resigns