Daunte Wright’s parents, Katie and Aubrey, don’t accept his death as a mistake, they said on Tuesday on Good Morning America.
“We had our hearts pulled out of our chests,” Daunte’s mother, Katie said. Her son was shot and killed on Sunday, in what police believe to be an “accidental” discharge of a firearm. The 20-year-old man was killed during a traffic stop for a supposed expired registration tag on his car. His parents will not accept his death as a mistake.
Daunte Wright’s father, Aubrey Wright, spoke to ABC News this morning alongside Daunte’s mother. “I lost my son,” He said. “He’s never coming back.”
According to reports, the officer who fatally struck Wright was Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. She intended to deploy her Taser instead of her gun, according to her statement, but Aubrey Wright doesn’t see it that way.
“I can’t accept that – a mistake, that doesn’t even sound right.” He told ABC. “This officer has been on the force for 26 years. I can’t accept that.”
Daunte Wright was driving in Brooklyn Center on Sunday afternoon when Kim Potter stopped him for an expired registration tag. However, Potter determined that Wright had an outstanding gross misdemeanor warrant.
Daunte Wright re-entered his vehicle. That is when Kim Potter pulled out her firearm, discharging a single shot into Wright.
The car then took off, making it only several blocks before crashing into another vehicle. The female passenger in the car with Wright received non-life-threatening injuries.
According to MSN, Daunte Wright had called his mother, Katie Wright, during the traffic stop. He told her that the police had stopped him for air fresheners that were hanging in his rearview mirror. She instructed him to take them down and to let her speak with the police when they came back. She would give them car insurance information. Instead, the police asked Wright to step out of the vehicle.
“Daunte said, ‘For what, am I in trouble?’ I heard the phone getting put down pretty hard,” Katie recalled when speaking about the incident. “And then I heard scuffling and the girl that was with him screaming, and I heard an officer ask for them to hang up the phone, and then I didn’t hear anything else.”
Katie then called back three to four times before the girl in the passenger’s seat finally answered Wright’s phone. “She said that they shot him, and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”
“Then,” she continued, “I heard an officer ask her to hang up the phone again and then after that, that’s the last time I’ve seen my son. I haven’t seen him since.”
Katie Wright does not understand why the situation escalated the way it did.
“I know my son was scared,” She explained. “He’s afraid of the police and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did.”
The question of why and how the incident escalated has unleashed a lot of debate and anger, with riots igniting in Minnesota and around the world.
“He had a 2-year old son that’s not going to be able to play basketball with him. He had sisters and brothers that he loved so much,” Katie said about her son. “He just had his whole life taken away from him. We had our hearts pulled out of our chests. He was my baby.”
The tragic incident has sparked unrest in Minnesota and around the country as yet another minority death at the hands of a cop hits headlines. The shooting occurred during the tense trial of Derick Chauvin; one of four cops charged with the death of George Floyd. Many, including Daunte Wright’s parents, want to see justice served.
According to Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot, there is full support for suspending officer Kim Potter.
“My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of other people in our profession,” Elliot said on Monday.
A preliminary report released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner on Monday said that Wright’s death resulted from a gunshot wound to the chest and was deemed a homicide.
Daunte Wright’s parents want to see justice for the events that unfolded and took their son away from them. Katie and Aubrey Wright said that they just want Kim Potter to be “held accountable for everything that she’s taken from us.”