The president of Minnesota’s largest police union blasted the city’s authorities for the way they handled Daunte Wright’s death, blaming the 20-year-old victim for his tragic end.
Brian Peters, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association executive director told WCCO news talk radio on Wednesday that, “This is going to be an unpopular comment. Daunte Wright, if he would have just complied. He was told he was under arrest. They were arresting him on a warrant for weapons. He set off a chain of events that unfortunately led to his death.”
“I’m not excusing it,” Peters continued. “But what we’re seeing in policing these days is that non-compliance by the public.”
The controversial remark came one day after Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon and Officer Kimberly Potter resigned.
Daunte Wright was fatally shot while trying to get away from the police after being pulled over for expired registration.
Wright was seen stepping out of his car, then running back behind the wheel and driving away in the video.
“Holy s–t,” the officer can be heard saying on the video. “I just shot him!”
Gannon later said Potter, a 26-year veteran, thought she had grabbed her Taser instead of her firearm—although they are worn on opposite sides of an officer’s belt and vary radically in weight and appearance.
Mayor Mike Elliott of Brooklyn Center was said to be “way over his head,” according to Brian Peters. “Both Curt Boganey and Tim Gannon were political pawns in whatever game the current mayor is playing. If I were the mayor, I would not allow the political activists to run the show.”
Boganey publicly disagreed with Minneapolis Mayor Mike Elliott’s suggestion that Potter, the cop who fatally shot Wright, should be fired right away.
Although the city council voted to grant the mayor command power over the police department, Boganey said that he would not take steps to fire the officer right away.
“All employees working for the city of Brooklyn Center are entitled to due process with respect to discipline,” Boganey said. “This employee will receive due process, and that’s really all that I can say today.”
When pressed on whether he felt the officer should be fired, Boganey again called for due process.
“If I were to answer that question, I’d be contradicting what I said a moment ago—which is to say that all employees are entitled to due process, and after that due process, discipline will be determined,” Boganey said. “If I were to say anything else, I would actually be contradicting the idea of due process.”
According to the new york post, during a virtual workshop after the meeting, Council Member Kris Lawrence-Anderson said she voted to fire Boganey out of fear of potential reprisals from protestors if she did not.
“He was doing a great job. I respect him dearly,” Lawrence-Anderson said. “I didn’t want repercussions at a personal level.”
State police were investigating the incident, and prosecutors in neighboring Washington County have taken over the investigation and were expected to prosecute Potter as early as Wednesday.
Potter is facing up to ten years in jail and a $20,000 fine if she was convicted of second-degree manslaughter.