By Brendan O’Brien (Reuters) – A Minneapolis suburb agreed to settle a lawsuit and pay $3.25 million to the family of Daunte Wright, a Black motorist killed during a traffic stop by a white police officer who mistakenly fired her handgun instead of her Taser, lawyers for his family said. The attorneys said in a […]
Minnesota city to pay $3.25 million to Daunte Wright’s family, attorneys say
By Brendan O’Brien
(Reuters) – A Minneapolis suburb agreed to settle a lawsuit and pay $3.25 million to the family of Daunte Wright, a Black motorist killed during a traffic stop by a white police officer who mistakenly fired her handgun instead of her Taser, lawyers for his family said.
The attorneys said in a statement on Tuesday that the settlement of the wrongful death lawsuit that Wright’s family filed against Brooklyn Center will not be finalized until an agreement has been reached regarding more training for the city’s police officers.
“The comprehensive settlement in this tragic case will provide a meaningful measure of accountability to the family for their deep loss,” they said. “The family hopes his legacy is a positive one and prevents any other family from enduring this type of grief.”
City officials were not immediately available for comment.
Wright was killed on April 11, 2021, when veteran police officer Kimberly Potter mistook her handgun for her Taser and opened fire on the 20-year-old as he resisted officers who pulled him over in a Minneapolis suburb. She was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.
The killing prompted a nationwide outcry, with many seeing it as yet another example of unjustified police violence against Black Americans. It occurred just a few miles north of where Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, murdered George Floyd, whose death helped set off demonstrations around the nation and the world.
The legal team representing the Wright family said the settlement will be finalized when Brooklyn Center agrees to more training for police officers in several areas, including implicit bias, weapons confusion and de-escalation.
The $3.25 million payment would be the third largest civil rights wrongful death settlement of its kinds in state history, according to the family’s lawyers.
The City of Minneapolis agreed in March 2021 to pay $27 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Floyd’s family, which their attorneys said was the largest pretrial settlement of its kind in U.S. history.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; editing by Jonathan Oatis)