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Mom Of Black Man Killed By Police After Being Pulled Over For Having Air Fresheners Speaks Out

Mom Of Black Man Killed By Police After Being Pulled Over For Having Air Fresheners Speaks Out
@itsnotfunny/Twitter; @MeritLaw/Twitter

The mother of an unarmed Black man who died as a result of a police shooting just outside of Minneapolis on Sunday demanded justice for her son but urged protesters to remain peaceful.

The victim was identified as 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

His death happened against the backdrop of the murder trial—now in its third week—for a former Minneapolis police officer responsible for the death of another Minnesota Black man, George Floyd.

Wright's mother, Katie Wright, demanded some answers while talking to reporters.

"Nobody will tell us anything, nobody will talk to us," she said through tears.

Wright was pulled over by police for a traffic violation—hanging air fresheners from his rear-view mirror.

When officers tried to take him into custody after discovering he had an outstanding warrant, Wright tried to re-enter his vehicle and was subsequently shot by one of the officers.

The victim drove off for several blocks before crashing into another vehicle.

He died at the scene.

Wright's death sparked outrage resulting in a protest of around 500 demonstrators who were locked in a standoff with officers in riot gear in front of the headquarters of the Brooklyn Center police.

Authorities urged the crowd to disperse after "rocks and other objects" were thrown at officers.

The grieving mother told the Star Tribune.

"We don't want it to be about all this violence. All he did was have air fresheners in the car and they told him to get out of the car."

In a video interview with the New York Times, she recalled her phone conversation with her son—who notified her around 1:40 p.m. he was being pulled over.

"I said when the police officer comes back to the window, put him on the phone and I will give him the insurance information."
"Then I heard the police officer come to the window and say, 'Put the phone down and get out of the car.' And Daunte said why. He said, 'We'll explain to you when you get out of the car.'"

Mrs. Wright said she heard her son either dropping or putting the phone down on the dashboard before the call was cut off.

She continued:

"I heard scuffling and I heard the police officer say, 'Daunte, don't run' and then the officer said, 'put the phone down' and hung it up."

When she called her son back, Wright's girlfriend—who was a passenger inside the vehicle at the time—answered and informed the mother her son had been shot.

The anger and frustration continued over on Twitter.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said he would not comment on the shooting but did mention the Brooklyn Center Police Department uses bodycams—suggesting there is video footage from the fatal encounter.