BROOKLYN CENTER — The mayor of a Minneapolis suburb vowed to “get to the bottom” of why police shot a young Black man during a traffic stop, while acknowledging that the death came at a time the community was on edge with the trial of Derek Chauvin underway nearby.
The shooting on Sunday caused unrest in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, hours before the resumption of the trial of Chauvin, the former white Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd. The trial began its 11th day on Monday in a courtroom less than 10 miles (16 km) away from the incident.
“I want to say that our hearts are aching right now,” Brooklyn Park Mayor Mike Elliott told a briefing. “We are in pain right now. And we recognize that this couldn’t have happened at a worse time.”
“We will get to the bottom of this,” Elliott said. “We will do all that is in our power to make sure that justice is done for Daunte Wright.”
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters on Sunday she had received a call from her son on Sunday afternoon telling her that police had pulled him over for having air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota. She could hear police tell her son to get out the vehicle, she said. In a statement, Brooklyn Center police said officers pulled over a man for a traffic violation just before 2 p.m., and found he had an outstanding arrest warrant. As police tried to arrest him, he got back in the car. One officer shot the man, who was not identified in the statement. The man drove several blocks before striking another vehicle and dying at the scene. (Reporting by Nicholas Pfosi in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and Jonathan Allen in Minneapolis; additional reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; editing by Jonathan Oatis)