Brooklyn Center Police Department Chief Tim Gannon called the shooting of a Black man, 20-year-old Daunte Wright, by an officer an “accidental discharge.”
During a press conference on Monday he said he believes the officer meant to pull out a taser when Daunte Wright was shot. He added that officers are trained to carry firearm on their dominant side and taser on the other.
The officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright at a Minneapolis traffic stop is on administrative leave. Officers had pulled Wright over for a traffic violation.
“Our hearts are aching right now,” Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said. “We are in pain right now and we recognize that this couldn’t have happened at a worse time … when all of America, when all of the world is watching our community.”
Since the shooting, crowds of protesters have gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where officers in riot gear have formed a protective line and released gas irritants in attempts to disperse people, according to journalists at the scene.
“We are incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of life at the hands of law enforcement… it is a reminder of the pain, the anger, the trauma, the exhaustion that many communities across the country have felt,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
“He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror,” Daunte Wright’s mother said. Daunte called his mother as police pulled him over while he was driving the car his family had given him two weeks earlier.
Protesters gathered at the scene of the incident before later moving on to the Brooklyn Center Police Department.