Another Black man has died at the hands of a police officer in the United States in what authorities are calling an “accidental discharge”. Daunte Wright, 20, was shot during a traffic stop on Sunday, April 11. Here’s what we know happened.

What happened to Daunte Wright?

Wright, a father of one, was fatally shot during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota shortly before 2pm on Sunday, April 11.

Wright was initially pulled over for a traffic violation related to expired registration tags, and then officers learned that Wright had an outstanding warrant to his name.

In a statement, the Brooklyn Centre Police Department said they tried to arrest Wright, causing him to try and re-enter his car.

“One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver. The vehicle travelled several blocks before striking another vehicle,” the statement said.

Wright died at the scene.

A passenger in the vehicle, Wright’s girlfriend, sustained non-life threatening injuries during the crash. She was taken to hospital, while the occupants of the other vehicle were uninjured.

The body-worn cameras of the police officers were activated during the incident, which police later released to the media.

In the graphic body camera footage, one officer can be seen pointing a gun at Wright and shouting “taser” repeatedly. Then the officer can be heard saying, “I just shot him”.

Wright’s mother, Katie, said he called her at about 1.40pm on Sunday.

“[He] said he was getting pulled over by the police and I said, ‘Well, why are you being pulled over?’ He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror. I said, ‘Okay, take them down’,” she told reporters.

Wright told Katie that the police wanted to know about insurance, so she told her son to let her talk to the police so she could pass on their details.

“And then I heard the police officer come to the window and say, ‘Put the phone down and get out of the car,'” Katie continued.

She heard the phone drop, scuffling, and a police officer said, “Daunte, don’t run” and then the phone cut out.

“A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, which was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot and she’d put [the phone] on the driver’s side and my son was laying there lifeless.”

What did the police say?

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said he believes the shooting was an “accidental discharge”, that the officer responsible was trying to use their taser, not their gun.

“As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s command, 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 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.”

Gannon said the BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) is conducting an independent investigation into the shooting and death of Wright.

“I’m also stressing that I do hope for the community to be patient and allow this criminal investigation to be completed as thoroughly as possible. I believe Mr Wright deserves this, as do all involved,” he said.

The officer who shot and killed Wright has been placed on administrative leave.

Has the police officer been identified?

On Monday, the BCA identified the police officer who shot Daunte Wright as Kim Potter, who has been with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 26 years.

The BCA confirmed Potter is on “standard administrative leave” and that its investigation of the incident is ongoing.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott called for Potter to be fired.

“My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession, so I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties,” he said.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, both Kim Potter and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon resigned from the Police Department.

Potter said she was resigning immediately, according to the New York Times.

“I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department and my fellow officers if I resign immediately,” she wrote.

How have the public responded?

A vigil was held on Monday night at the place where Wright died, where hundreds gathered to remember and honour him.

His mother, Katie, said her heart has broken into a thousand pieces.

“He was a son, he was a brother, he was an uncle, he was a father, he was a grandson, he was so much more and he did not deserve this at all,” Wright said.

“I just need everyone to know that he was my life and he was my son and I could never get back, because of a mistake? Because of an accident?”

Hundreds of protesters later clashed with police outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department’s headquarters on Monday evening to protest Wright’s death, ignoring a Metro-wide 7pm curfew imposed by Governor Tim Walz.

Kilometres away in Minneapolis, the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin entered its third week.

Chauvin is accused of murdering Black man George Floyd, after he pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest last year.

Image: Getty Images / David Ryder