Daunte Wright Shooting: Situational Fact Check

After the Daunte Wright shooting, there has been a plethora of misinformation floating around the internet. This misinformation contributes to an increase in tensions. It effectively fans the fires of unrest. 

This article will serve as a fact check some if these claims. 

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Claim: The police listed an air refresher hanging from Daunte’s mirror as a reason for pulling him over. 

This was a claim that Duante’s mother and girlfriend made. Reactionaries ran with it, despite the fact that it was baseless. 

His mother claimed that he called her minutes before being killed and was under the impression that this is why he was pulled over. 

This is not true. The police chief of Brooklyn Center said in a statement that officers pulled him over due to expired plates, and a warrant out for his arrest. 

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Ruling: False.

Claim: Daunte Wright was pulled over for a misdemeanor warrant for possession of marijuana. 

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Also not true. The relevant warrant was one for  possession of a firearm and fleeing from an officer. The warrant was administered after he failed to appear in court on April 02.

Ruling: False. 

Claim: The court sent documents that made him aware of his court date to the wrong address. 

The courts did send mail regarding court appearances to the wrong address, but this happened in February and was in relation to a completely different case. 

Daunte was also fighting charges of armed robbery. 

The court appearance that he failed to make, prompting his arrest warrant for possession of a firearm was on April 2nd and he was notified on March 6th. There is no indication that he did not receive the notification. 

Ruling: False. 

Claim: The stop was related to Duantes race. 

This is up to the opinion of the American people. But some key facts are important to acknowledge. 

1. The arresting officer was a black man

2. Daunte was not pulled over for no reason

How or why would a black officer be prejudice towards another person of his own race? 

Ruling: up for interpretation but unlikely 

Claim: it is impossible to mix up a taser and a glock

This is certainly not true. This is not unheard of. It’s estimated this has happened to officers roughly 18 times in the last 20 years. 

It is rather rare but it does have a history of occurring from time to time. 

According to NBC, Criminal Justice experts have given insight as to how this can happen. 

  1. cognitive motor malfunction. Have you ever been in a rental car and reached for your aux cord before you realize it’s not your car? Been on a call for hours with the phone pressed to your ear and began searching for your phone? It’s similar to this. Your body is not properly communicating with your brain. You think you know what you’ve got in your head, and your body is doing something else. 
  2. Muscle memory. This plays directly into the cognitive motor malfunction. Your brain isn’t properly communicating with your body, and the body does something that is familiar. 

The officer yelled “taser taser” before shooting, and only shot once. Officers are trained to squeeze the trigger twice and re evaluate when using deadly force. 

Ruling: False, it is possible but this situation is up for interpretation. 

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