The Harm of Calling Daunte Wright’s Death an Accident

Giving the police the benefit of the doubt undermines the victims

Allison Wiltz
Momentum

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Naisha Wright, Daunte Wright’s aunt, with members of George Floyd’s family. Photo: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Protesters took to the streets after hearing the news. A Brooklyn Center officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Many wondered how this could happen again. Another unarmed Black man lost his life from a police encounter. Wright died a few miles away from Minneapolis, where George Floyd’s death played on repeat. The jury has yet to deliberate Derek Chauvin’s guilt, though that day will soon arrive. The physical and thematic proximity of these cases shocked an already grieving community. Kim Potter, a 26-year-old veteran of the force, and the police chief have since resigned from their positions. But, before they did, they helped set the narrative. They claimed Wright’s death was an accident and the media quoted them as such.

“It is my belief the officer meant to deploy their Taser but shot him with a single bullet,” Chief Gannon said, adding: “There’s nothing I can say to lessen the pain.”

The officer fired a single shot at Wright. That much is undeniable. But the concept of his death being a mistake is an opinion. It speaks to motive or alleged lack thereof. That’s something a jury would have to decide if this case ever makes it before one. While the chief claimed there was nothing he…

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Allison Wiltz
Momentum

Black womanist Scholar bylines @ Momentum, Oprah Daily, ZORA, GEN, EIC of Cultured #WEOC Founder allisonthedailywriter.com https://ko-fi.com/allyfromnola