Daunte Wright’s family reaches $ 3.2 million settlement with Brooklyn Center, Minn.

The City of Brooklyn Center, Minn., Has agreed to pay a $ 3.2 million settlement to the family of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was shot dead by a police officer during a traffic stop in April 2021 near Minneapolis . The officer said she intended to fire her Taser instead.

The settlement, announced Tuesday by the legal team for Mr. Wright’s family, will be finalized after an agreement is also reached on “non-monetary” measures, including training for city police. Lawyers said Tuesday that they expect the agreement would include training for the Brooklyn Center Police Department on topics including officer intervention, implicit prejudice, de-escalation and how to address mental health crises. As part of the settlement, the University of St. Thomas is set to provide the police department with free training on cultural skills and implicit bias.

Katie and Arbuey Wright, the parents of Mr. Wright said in a statement Tuesday that he hopes Brooklyn Center residents feel safer “because of the changes the city must make to resolve our claims.”

“Nothing can explain or fill the void in our lives without Daunte or our persistent grief over the senseless way in which he died,” said Mr. Wright’s parents said. “But in his name, we will move forward, and it was important to us that his loss be used for positive change in the community, not just for a financial settlement for our family.”

The shooting happened during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of murdering George Floyd, a Black man whose death sparked global protests against police violence. Protests also took place in Brooklyn Center after Mr. Wright kills.

Mr. Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was driving after a car wash in April 2021 when he was stopped by two Brooklyn Center police officers, Kimberly Potter and Anthony Luckey, who Ms. Potter was training at the time. Officer Luckey began to follow Mr. Wright’s white Buick because he said he saw the car with the wrong turn signal. The car also had an expired registration sticker, and an air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror, which is against the law in many states.

The police stopped Mr. Wright after they ran his name through a police database and found that he had a warrant for his arrest after missing a court date in connection with charges that he had illegally owned a gun and had run away from police officers.

Mr. Wright got out of the car at Officer Luckey’s request, but he turned away and tried to get back in the driver’s seat as Officer Luckey tried to handcuff him, showing body camera videos. Even later, Ms. Potter shouted that she would use her Taser on Mr. Wright, but they signed their department-issued Glock instead and shot him.

Ms. Potter, who is white, resigned two days after the fatal shooting of Mr. Wright and was sentenced to two years in prison in February. Her sentence is much less than the standard of about seven years for manslaughter, but a judge said it was fair because Ms. Potter intended to burn her Taser. Mr. Wright’s relatives at the time expressed shame about what they saw as the mildness of the sentence.

Advocates for Ms. Potter and Brooklyn Center police did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Antonio Romanucci, a lawyer for Mr. Wright’s family said the family hoped changes to police at Brooklyn Center “would make significant improvements to the community in Daunte’s name.”

Jeff Storms, another lawyer for Mr. Wright’s family said in a statement on Tuesday that the financial settlement “could not come close to compensating the family for their loss, yet the comparative cost to and commitment by the city reflects a commitment to account for this small community.” . “

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs contributed reporting.


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