News June 23, 2022 at 09:00 am

Daunte Wright police killing: Family reaches $3.2M settlement with city

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey June 23, 2022 at 09:00 am

June 23, 2022 at 09:00 am | News

Daunte Wright, 20, was fatally shot by a Minnesota police officer last year -- Photo provided by family (via @kimvhyatt on Twitter)

The family of Daunte Wright, a Black man who was fatally shot by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop in April last year, has reached a $3.2 million settlement with the city of Brooklyn Center.

Besides the monetary aspect of the tentative settlement, attorneys for Wright’s family said the city has also agreed to implement changes in police policies as well as training for traffic stops such as the one that caused Wright’s death, The Associated Press reported. 

Wright, 20, was pulled over for driving with expired registration tags when former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter fatally shot him as he attempted to evade arrest. Potter, who is White, claimed she thought she had discharged her Taser instead of her gun in the aftermath of the incident. In a video of the shooting, Potter is heard yelling “Taser” multiple times before she discharges her gun.

Potter, a 26-year veteran, was ultimately convicted in Wright’s killing in February. She received a two-prison sentence after she was found guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter.

Responding to the settlement, co-counsel Antonio M. Romanucci said Wright’s relatives “hope and believe the measures of change to policing, policies and training will create important improvements to the community in Daunte’s name.” 

Romanucci added: “Nothing can bring him back, but the family hopes his legacy is a positive one and prevents any other family from enduring the type of grief they will live with for the rest of their lives.”

Wright’s killing sparked protests in the city. The fatal incident also happened during a volatile period in the city as former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was standing trial for killing George Floyd. The court was also just miles away from where Wright was fatally shot, The Associated Press reported.

The Black man’s death also reportedly compelled the Brooklyn Center City Council to pass a number of reforms such as making social workers and other trained personnel respond to certain calls instead of the police. These include medical, mental health, and social-needs calls.

The police are also not allowed to arrest people for low-level offenses while the city is required to use unarmed civilians to take care of minor traffic breaches. 

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