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Appearing on Good Morning America alongside her husband, Daunte’s father Aubrey, Katie was asked to walk viewers through what happened on Sunday. As Katie explained, her son called her to say he had just been pulled over and that officers were asking about insurance information.
“The police officers came back up to the window and asked Daunte to step out of the car and Daunte said, ‘For what? Am I in trouble?’” she recounted. “And the officer said, ‘We’re gonna explain that when you step out of the car’ and they asked him to put the phone down.” At that point, Katie said she heard the phone being put down, followed by scuffling and the sounds of “the girl that was with him screaming.” She also heard an officer ask them to hang up the phone.
“I didn’t hear anything else,” Katie said. “I tried to call back three, four times and then the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was laying in the driver’s seat unresponsive. And then I heard an officer ask her to hang up the phone again.”
Asked for her thoughts on the fatal escalation of her son’s encounter with police, Katie noted that her son had always been afraid of police.
“I know my son was scared and he’s afraid of the police,” she told Robin Roberts. “I don’t know why [it escalated]. It should have never, ever escalated the way it did.”
Aubrey said Sunday started off as “a normal day” and expressed frustration at the lack of communication from the police in the days since their son was killed. Asked about the department’s claim that the officer—since identified as Kim Potter—fired the weapon in an “accidental discharge” and intended to use a Taser, Aubrey noted that makes no sense.
“I cannot accept that,” he said. “I lost my son. He’s never coming back. I can’t accept that, ‘a mistake,’ that doesn’t even sound right. This officer that’s been on the force [for] 26 years? I can’t accept that.”
In a Today appearance, also on Tuesday, Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott reaffirmed his stance that the officer should have been relieved of her duties.
“I still believe that strongly,” Elliott said. “But we’re going through a process right now where the officer is going to be held to account. I think whenever, through the line of duty, someone kills another human being, there must be accountability.”
Tuesday afternoon, the police union representing Brooklyn Center officers announced that Potter had resigned, effective immediately:
5 Eyewitness News reported Tuesday afternoon that sources tell the local station that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office intends to level official charges at Potter.
Police Chief Tim Gannon has also resigned.
On Monday, it was announced that civil rights attorney Ben Crump and co-counsel Jeff Storms—who both appeared alongside Daunte Wright’s parents on GMA—had been retained to represent the family.
“Daunte Wright is yet another young Black man killed at the hands of those who have sworn to protect and serve all of us—not just the whitest among us,” Crump said in a statement. “As Minneapolis and the rest of the country continue to deal with the tragic killing of George Floyd, now we must also mourn the loss of this young man and father. This level of lethal force was entirely preventable and inhumane. What will it take for law enforcement to stop killing people of color? The growing number of Black men and women who have been killed or harmed by police is far too hefty a price for the equality we are seeking. We join Daunte’s family in demanding justice for him, and holding those responsible for his death accountable.”