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Protests Continue After Police Say Cop Meant to Grab Taser, Not Gun

The officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright is a 26-year veteran of the force
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2021 1:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Protests in Brooklyn Center, Minn., continued for a second night Monday after the police chief said the officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop Sunday appeared to mistake her gun for her Taser. Gov. Tim Walz established a dusk-to-dawn curfew, after which hundreds of protesters were still confronting police, the AP reports. Gas canisters, flash-bang grenades, and other devices were used as police attempted to disperse the crowd. Some arrests were made before the area was cleared, KSTP reports. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said the officer involved, identified as 26-year veteran of the force Kim Potter, should be fired. She has so far been placed on standard administrative leave, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

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She was engaged in field training the day Wright was killed, training a new officer. Elliott, the city's first Black mayor, also announced the city manager, who oversees the police department, had been terminated (it's not clear why) and that city council voted to give his office "command authority" over the PD. "You know the difference between plastic and metal. We all know it," said Wright's brother, Dallas Bryant, at a candlelight vigil Monday night where he wondered how a cop could mistake a gun for a Taser. But the New York Times reports that, while the mistake is uncommon, it has happened before. It cites examples from 2018 in Kansas, 2019 in Pennsylvania, and a fatal incident in Oklahoma in 2015, and notes that a previous article documented nine cases from 2001 to 2009—including the 2009 death of Oscar Grant III in Oakland, Calif. (Read more Daunte Wright stories.)

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