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The police officer who fatally shot a black man during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb apparently intended to fire a Taser during the traffic stop, not a handgun, the city’s police chief said Monday.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as “an accidental discharge” and said the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was investigating.
Daunte Wright, 20, died Sunday as a result of the gunshot wound. Authorities said the car was pulled over for having expired registration. A female passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the crash.
The AP reports the police chief would not name the officer or provide any other details about her, including her race, other than describing her as “very senior.”
During the news conference, authorities said after determining the driver had an outstanding warrant, the police tried to arrest Wright.
The footage showed three officers around a stopped car and when another officer attempts to handcuff Wright, a second officer tells Wright he’s being arrested on a warrant, the AP reports.
The police chief said it is his belief the officer made a mistake, and he released the body camera footage less than 24 hours after the shooting.
“I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” the officer is heard shouting on her body cam footage.
The female officer draws her weapon after the man breaks free from police outside his car and gets back behind the wheel.
After firing a single shot from her handgun in an attempt to Tase the individual, the car speeds away, and the officer is heard saying, “Holy (expletive)! I shot him.”
“As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s command, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said. “This appears to me from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
Gov. Tim Walz announced a curfew from 7 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday for three counties that include Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis and the capital of St. Paul, the article reads.
The AP reports that Waltz warned anyone who chooses to “exploit these tragedies” with violence “can rest assured that the largest police presence in Minnesota history” will be prepared to arrest law breakers.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott called the shooting “deeply tragic,” the AP reports.
“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is done and our communities are made whole,” he said.
USA Today reports the officer was placed on administrative leave, and the police chief said it was too soon to say whether she would face charges.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said any decision on charges against the officer will be made by the Washington County attorney under an agreement adopted last year by several county prosecutors aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest, the AP reports.
Check back with OutKick for updates on this developing story.