Daunte Wright’s family gathered for a press conference Tuesday where they publically mourned the loss of their nephew, whose life was cut short by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. Potter killed 20-year-old Wright with a single gunshot wound during a traffic stop. She later claimed that her pistol accidentally discharged and that she meant to use her taser instead.
In a moving and emotional speech, Wright’s aunt, Naisha Wright, vividly conveyed the unbearable pain felt by the Wright family due to the loss of their beloved nephew, son, and father and made it clear that she believes the officer’s decision to take her nephew’s life was no accident.
“They murdered my nephew,” Wright said through tears. “She killed my nephew. Every pistol and every taser has a safety on it. She saw that. She had to release that.”
Wright, like many, watched the bodycam footage and struggled to make sense of why Potter fired her gun at her unarmed nephew.
“I watched that video like everybody else watched that video. That woman held that gun out in front of her for a long damn time. A long damn time,” she said.
In some ways, people have become numb to police shootings, unintentionally dehumanizing the victims and reducing them to mere hashtags while forgetting who they were and the essential roles that they played in the lives of the people who love them.
“My nephew was 20 years old. 20 years old,” Wright continued. “I don’t care what nobody got to say about him. He was loved. He was ours. He came from us. My brother and my sister are hurt. This is no broken home. This is no broken home. This is 23 years of love. 23. My nephew was 20. Did y’all not see my little great-nephew? Did y’all not see that beautiful baby? He is fatherless. Not over a mistake. Over murder. That’s murder.”
In an even more heartbreaking turn of events, Naisha explained that it wasn’t until her nephew’s death that she learned George Floyd’s girlfriend is a former teacher of the deceased.
“I wear this shirt,” Wright said of the t-shirt she wore bearing George Floyd’s face. “And the craziest thing is to find out today that my family has connections to this man and this family. His girlfriend was a teacher for my nephew. My nephew was a lovable young man. His smile. Lord, the most beautiful smile. Y’all took that. My nephew’s blood is on y’all hands. I have never seen my brother hurt like this before. Never. To hear my brother and to see my sister’s pain. Hold her higher than accountable. You train people on this stuff. 26 years. 26 years. Y’all took him. She needs to pay.”
The victim’s mother, Katie Wright, also recalled the heartbreaking moment she learned that her son had been killed. The passenger of the vehicle FaceTimed her, which is when she saw his body slumped over in the driver’s seat.
Watch the full press conference below