BROOKLYN CENTER, Minnesota ( Associated Press) — A Minneapolis suburb has agreed to pay $3.2 million to the family of Daunt Wright, a black man who was fatally shot by a police officer who said she mistook her gun for a stun gun.
The preliminary settlement also includes changes to police policy and training related to traffic stops like the one that led to Wright’s death, according to a statement from lawyers representing the Wright family.
Wright was shot once in the chest by white Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter after the 20-year-old was pulled over in April 2021 for expired registration tokens. Subsequently, the former officer was convicted of first and second degree manslaughter and was sentenced to two years in prison.
In the video, Potter can be heard yelling “Shazer” several times right before firing his gun.
Members of the Wright family “hope and believe that measures to change policing, policy and training will lead to important improvements in society on behalf of Daunte,” said co-lawyer Antonio M. Romanucci. “Nothing can bring him back, but the family hopes that his legacy will be positive and prevent any other family from experiencing the grief they will live with for the rest of their lives.”
The Associated Press published a report on Wednesday asking for comment on the City Hall situation.
The shooting came at a time of high tension in the area, with former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, on trial just a few miles from the city for the murder of black George Floyd. Floyd’s death in May 2020 prompted retribution for police brutality and discrimination against people of color.
The aftermath of Wright’s death led the Brooklyn Center City Council to pass a number of reforms, including the use of social workers and other trained professionals to answer calls for medical, mental and social issues that do not require police.
The changes also prohibit police from making arrests for minor offenses and require the city to use unarmed civilians to deal with minor traffic violations.
The settlement is one of the largest involving the Minnesota State Police. Last year, the city of Minneapolis agreed to pay $27 million to Floyd’s family.
Minneapolis previously paid $20 million to the family of Justine Ruschik Damond after she called 911 to report an alleged attack behind her home in July 2017 and was fatally shot by Mohamed Noor, one of the officers who answered her call. Noor is Somali American and Daymond was white.
Find full coverage of the Daunte Wright case at Associated Press: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-daunte-wright.