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Medical examiner rules Daunte Wright’s death a homicide

Body camera video from the shooting was released, prompting more protests.

Daunte Wright ABC

Protests continued for a second night in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota after police shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man named Daunte Wright. On Monday (April 12), the Hennepin County Medical Examiner announced that Wright died from a gunshot wound to his chest and ruled his death a homicide.

In their report, the medical examiner’s office added that the ruling “is not a legal determination of culpability or intent.”

Also on Monday, body camera footage from the shooting was released to the public. As reported by REVOLT, the confrontation between police and Wright occurred on Sunday (April 11) during a traffic stop. According to police, Wright was pulled over for driving an SUV with expired license plates and allegedly violating a Minnesota law about hanging air fresheners in the rearview mirror.

“He was pulled over for having an expired registration on the vehicle,” Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said in a press conference Monday. “When the officer went over, an item hanging from the rearview mirror was spotted.”

Police say they then discovered Wright had an outstanding arrest warrant. Wright got back into his car and a police officer could be heard yelling, “Taser! Taser!” in the body camera footage. Instead of firing a taser, the officer fired their handgun and fatally shot Wright. The officer could be heard saying, “Holy shit, I just shot him,” in the recording.

On Monday, the police chief called the shooting “an accidental discharge.”

“As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said.

“This appears to me, from what I’ve viewed and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright,” he added.

The shooting occurred just miles away from where Derek Chauvin is currently on trial for killing George Floyd less than one year ago. According to the police chief, the fatal shooting of Wright is currently being investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

See body camera video from the shooting here. Warning: the footage is graphic and disturbing.

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