The Daunte Wright Case : A Synopsis


Sophie Poveda-M'Bale, Reporter

On April 11, 2021, 20 year-old Daunte Wright was shot and killed in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. He was stopped at a traffic light due to expired license plates when Officer Kimberly Potter approached his vehicle and, after a brief struggle, shot Wright. He began to drive after the bullet was shot, but collided with another vehicle and hit a concrete barrier. He was pronounced dead on the scene. 

The following day, Officer Potter claimed to have mistaken her gun for her taser and accidentally killed Daunte Wright. As stated by multiple officers across the nation, it is difficult for one to mistake their taser for their gun: the firearm is positioned on the officer’s more dominant side, the taser on their less dominant side; their firearm weighs approximately 2.6 pounds, while their taser weighs approximately 8 ounces; their firearm is jet black, while their taser is neon yellow; and their firearm must be taken off safety in order to use, while their taser does not have a safety mechanism. These differences are conscious choices made by the police system to prevent mistakes like these. Evidently, they are insufficient. 

On April 14, Potter was arrested with a charge of second-degree manslaughter and released from Hennepin County Jail on $100,000 bail. Officer Potter made her first court appearance on April 15th, when she was charged; her next appearance is scheduled for May 17th. Whether Potter’s actions were truly a mistake or not, they identify an issue within the police system: a lack of training surrounding police weapons or a lack of training in de-escalating a situation without the use of weapons. From either perspective, reform is needed in order to truly fulfill the duty of protecting American citizens.