Gun or Taser? How Can You Mistake It?

Driving while black should not be a death sentence.

Julia Contreras, Staff Writer

During a traffic stop on April 11, 20 year old Daunte Wright was fatally shot when officer Kim Potter mistook her taser for a gun.

The charge against Potter was filed three days after her arrest. The 26 year old veteran officer was already trained on how to use her gun, who should know the difference, considering it’s been her occupation for a while. Protesters and Wright’s family are stating that there is no excuse for the shooting and that the system has failed to serve justice towards people of color.

When will the shootings stop? The world may never know. Until then, it’s time to take action and protest against the injustice.

According to Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn center police station, officers pulled over Daunte Wright for a traffic violation in relation to expired registration tags. Officers then soon discovered that he had a warrant out for his arrest. When the police tried to detain Wright, there was quite a struggle in doing so.

Body camera footage was released showing Kim Potter approaching Wright shouting, “I’ll tase you, I’ll tase you, taser, taser, taser!!” Shortly after, Potter fired a single shot from a handgun in her right hand. After a police car pulls away, Potter shouts “I shot him,” to two other police officers. The police and medical workers pronounced Daunte dead at the scene, and a day after the shooting, a medical examiner concluded that Daunte died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright had informed reporters that her son had called her as he was pulled over. According to Katie, “He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror.” That’s right. Air fresheners. Ms. Wright then explained that her son had dropped the phone after she heard movement and scuffling, including an officer telling Daunte not to run. When Katie called back, Daunte’s girlfriend, who had been in the car with him, told her that her son had been shot. Not only did this incident happen in broad daylight, but was a gross training oversight, especially since the officer was a veteran. The police chief of Brooklyn Center claimed that officers mistaking their guns for a taser is “rare”. It shouldn’t be “rare” it should be never. One of the biggest questions remains: how do you mistake a 9mm handgun with a taser?

On the day of Daunte’s death, protesters had already gathered to demand justice. Daunte’s mother did warn them to “be careful” and to make it peaceful because she did “not want it to be about all this violence.” Hours later at the Brooklyn Police Department, protesters chanted and threw cans and bricks at the officers. Protesters continued this for another three days, showing their tiredness for not being listened to, which was eventually deemed as unlawful.

The officer who shot him did resign, and was arrested. On the morning of April 14, she was arrested and taken into custody. Charged with second degree manslaughter, Daunte received the justice he deserves.

A funeral was held for Mr. Wright on April 22nd, where Reverend Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy. He was just like any another kid, only 20, with a life ahead of him, a girlfriend and loving family. Now, this family will face heartache like any other family that has fallen victim to racial injustice.

This is not the first case to happen. Racism is not an accident. Daunte deserved to live a full and prosperous life, just like any other person of color that has died unrightfully under the hands of the police. They deserved a life well lived, but sadly, systematic racism had to cut it short.

Daunte and all other victims of shootings will never be forgotten, Rest in Peace.