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April 13, 2021

Wright’s Resistance Cost Him His Life

The issue wasn’t weapon confusion. The issue was his behavior.

Daunte Wright was killed Sunday by Kimberly Potter of the Brooklyn Center Police Department during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb. Potter, 48, is a 26-year veteran and is white, while Wright was a 20-year-old black man. According to the race-baiting Leftmedia, that’s all you need to know.

The truth, of course, is far more gray than merely black and white.

For additional context, the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is ongoing this week, so the Minnesota city is already familiar with the racial tension and rioting as a result of a police-caused death. But this one was, it seems, accidental.

“As I watched the video and listened to the officer’s commands, it’s my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” said Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon. “This appears to me, from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright.”

Was Wright a meek and compliant subject in the traffic stop? Hardly. Not only did he resist three officers (including one black male officer) and try to flee in his car, but police were attempting to arrest him on two warrants including a weapons charge for which he’d already skipped his court date. He was a known gang-banger and drug user. In other words, officers were on high alert, as they should have been. (In this, it seems similar to the Kenosha case last year.)

Does that excuse Potter? Not entirely. BCPD officers wear their firearm and their Taser on opposite sides of their duty belts, so she should have been very clear on the difference — especially with her long experience. As the chief noted, she meant to use the Taser, though given Wright’s behavior, perhaps a case could be made that the firearm was appropriate. Potter is on administrative leave. (It’s also worth noting that we learned her name within days whereas the Capitol Police officer who killed Ashli Babbitt on January 6 remains anonymous.)

Update: Potter resigned Tuesday, and she will be charged with manslaughter.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “A gun-Taser mix-up by a police officer has been blamed for a handful of deaths in the U.S. — at least three others nationwide — since Tasers with a pistol-grip were first introduced more than two decades ago. … Similar shootings have happened at least 11 times nationwide since 1999.”

Those are the relevant details. Again, however, some folks would have you believe it is simply the races of the individuals that matters.

Given this narrative, it’s no surprise that protests Sunday and Monday quickly became riots, even if Leftmedia reporters are once again denying reality and claiming, “There was no riot.” Yes, there was, and looting too. Furthermore, as National Review reports, “Several stores ransacked after Sunday’s fatal police shooting in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota were vandalized and looted less than a year ago in the riots that ensued across the Twin Cities after George Floyd’s death in police custody.”

The usual suspects lined up to weigh in. It started locally, with Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott declaring, “I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties.” On the other hand, City Manager Curt Boganey noted, “All employees are entitled to due process. This employee will receive due process.” For saying so, Boganey was fired by Elliott.

And it went national. Democrat Rashida Tlaib, the Michigan representative and “squad” member, declared, “It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.” This shameless self-promotion is what the Left likes to call a “dog whistle.” It’s also insane.

“Prayers are not enough,” Kamala Harris pontificated. “Daunte Wright should still be with us. While an investigation is underway, our nation needs justice and healing, and Daunte’s family needs to know why their child is dead — they deserve answers.”

President Joe “Unity” Biden was somewhat measured in his response, saying, “We got to wait and see what the investigation shows — the entire investigation.” But then he tried to have it both ways: “We do know that the anger, pain, and trauma that exists in the black community in that environment is real,” he said. “It’s serious and it’s consequential. But it doesn’t justify violence and/or looting.” He’s affirming the anger while offering little more than offering perfunctory calls for “peace and calm.” Biden’s weak sauce is certainly not enough to outweigh the race-baiting so prevalent among Democrats.

The sad reality is that Wright’s death was immediately exploited like other deaths that fit a certain narrative, while other deaths that do not fit that narrative are ignored. Democrats have used certain deaths for political gain, while Black Lives Matter activists have gotten very wealthy on the pain of others. Will all of this save any lives? The opposite is far more likely.

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