The Unjust Murder of Daunte Wright


Daunte Wright and his son.

Caitlin Bailey, Columnist

Daunte Wright was pulled over on Sunday, April 11 in Minneapolis, MN, on account of having an outstanding warrant, an expired registration plate, and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror, which is against the law in Minnesota. Wright resisted arrest and, after being held up against his car with his hands behind his back, attempted and succeeded at getting back in his car. Officer Kim Potter pointed and shot a gun at Wright as he began to drive away, to which Wright received a fatal chest wound.



Wright’s warrant came from an attempted robbery back in December 2019. Wright and another man, Emajay Driver, attempted to rob two women for their $820 rent money. Wright held one of the women at gunpoint during the attempt. He was arrested, but was later given a $100,000 bail and express instruction to not contact the victim or the witnesses, to stay away from drugs and alcohol, and to not possess any firearms. However, this was nullified in July 2020 when it was found that Wright had possession of either a firearm or ammunition, and had not been meeting with his probation officer. 


The officer who killed Wright, Kim Potter, worked on the force for 26 years. According to the Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police, the murder of Wright was an accident since Potter meant to use her taser instead of her gun.


While this might have been true, while the rush of adrenaline might have jumbled Potter’s mind, it begs the question: How does an officer who has worked in the force for nearly three decades mistake a gun for a taser, when the former is significantly heavier? The fact that Potter did not take a second to check was the difference between life and death for Wright. 


Accidental or not, Wright was a victim of murder. Neither a warrant, nor an expired plate, nor an air freshener is reason enough for death. No one should have to fear for their lives each time they drive their car. No one should have to wonder if they’re going to make it home to their loved ones. No one should have to fear for their lives because the people sworn to protect them aren’t adequately trained in de-escalation protocols. 


Both Potter and Gannon resigned on Tuesday, April 13, just two days after the shooting. On the 14th, Potter was arrested but was later released the same day on a $100,000 bond. However, she is currently being charged with second-degree manslaughter and up to 10 years in prison. Potter attended a court session over Zoom on Thursday, but she will be attending an in-person session on May 17. 


How many more? How many more deaths, how many more murders, how many more grieving families will the world have to suffer before enough is enough?