Cop who shot and killed Daunte Wright charged with manslaughter

Originally published at: Cop who shot and killed Daunte Wright charged with manslaughter | Boing Boing


A police officer in my area did the same thing two years ago when she shot a suspect while thinking she was holding a Taser. Fortunately, the guy in my town survived. Isn’t the Taser bright yellow? Not sure how such a mistake can be made.


I very much doubt it could be, in the hands of a three decade veteran who trains other officers and has clever ideas about when bodycams should be turned off


It seems to be a go-to defense strategy for some killer cops.

Ditto, but even if true, if a three decade veteran who trains other officers can’t tell the difference between a taser and a gun, then not only should they never have been trusted with either, but neither should anyone they trained.


This may have been a mistake but as someone pointed out she was a veteran of the force. Was it intentional? I doubt it. Was it a mistake that could have been avoided through better training? Maybe but I’m not a cop who has to make life and death decisions. Watching the video he did try and run or resist so maybe a taser was in order. I’m just not sure this case is an example of police gone bad. I can’t imagine being a cop in today’s climate.

I’ve been pulled over twice recently because my personalized plate was on some sort federal hot sheet. Both times the officers approached the car with guns drawn, you can’t imagine what goes through your head at that point. My hands are on the wheel and I froze until I was told what to do. The cop must have also been afraid because they thought I was some sort of felon. After the second time I got rid of the plate because no one could help me resolve the situation.

That’s also when I realized cops just randomly run plates as your driving by.


This may indeed be a case of a true mistake, but it begs the question: why do they need to be arresting someone for a MISDEMEANOR failure to pay fine? You fine them again and send them on their way. The courts can garnish their wages.

The policy of “we must arrest and jail you if you didn’t pay a fine” is poor house mentality and should be abandoned. Consequently, there would be a lot less of these kinds of potential mistakes. The whole attitude of cops and our justice system is “jail first,” and it’s ass backwards.

Hell, let them run if they’re not a violent offender. You’ve got their ID, it’s not like you can’t find them again.


Disarm the police.


Oh yes, won’t someone please think of the poor, beleaguered cops, instead of the huge numbers of black and brown people they kill?



The mistake can happen because in high stress situations you fall back to the actions you have most trained for. Trained to draw your weapons 500 times and your taser 100? Your brain can default to the most practiced actions. It can also happen where you may have wielded both or intended to wield one or the other and forgot what was in your hand. They aren’t staring at what color the thing in their hand is, their eyes are focused on what is happening in front of them, often with tunnel vision. They try to minimize it by putting the taser on the non-dominate side or even chest, making the action to draw distinct and different from drawing a weapon. But obviously, that isn’t always enough.

So it is certainly understandable WHY it has happened. Should we excuse it? Certainly not. Lack of training or failing to follow your training isn’t an excuse for causing accidental death or serious bodily harm. If you do a search you can find this happens every year or so. Interesting to note several of them were convicted of manslaughter.

I have to say I am impressed with the speed charges were brought onto this former officer. Too often it is weeks to months to never before charges are brought up. This is a good direction and what is needed - accountability.

Yep- many of them have computers that just scan plates all day and then ping when a hit for a warrant or stolen car shows up.


The arrest warrant was for failure to appear to address violated terms of his release from jail on bond.

That in no way justifies him getting killed but when he tried to run or resist I think the cops have to attempt to arrest him. We can debate the use of force, shooting him is wrong, tasing him, I’m not sure.

I just want to reiterate I do not believe he should have been killed for this situation and the cops should be held repsonsible I’m just not sure what the punishment should look like.

I agree, there is a serious problem across the country when it comes to the treatment of people of color compared to white people by the police. I knew when I was typing that comment it would be taken the wrong way by some. I agree, things need to change, cops need better training and the bad ones need to get weeded out and removed but…

I was speaking specifically to this situation. It could very well have been a mistake and my comment remains, cops risk their lives daily and not every cop is bad or intentionally targeting people of color.

Oh my god. I was born and raised in Lawrence, but I hadn’t even heard of that incident (I’ve been living abroad). I really wanted to believe that the LPD was better than that…

1 Like

Remember that even shooting somebody with a taser can kill them. Tasers were involved in the death of over 1,000 Americans.


Why? He’s in a vehicle registered to his name with a warrant out for his arrest. As a black man, it’s inevitable that he’d be pulled over again in the very near future. It’s not like he’s the fucking Unabomber.

Again, why? He is not posing an immediate threat to anyone, but shooting into a vehicle with multiple passengers sure as hell does.

US policing is an exercise in authority, not public safety or service. He was murdered simply because he didn’t follow the commands of the officer, not because of any serious public threat he poses.

ETA: When we talk about “deescalation” it is always framed in the context of deescalating a civilian, when in reality it is the police doing the escalating the vast majority of the time.


So do roofers, who die at higher rates than cops do. So what?

As for “not every cop is bad,” GTFO with that tired weaksauce. Until cops stand up and fix the systemic racism baked into the system in which they work, ACAB.


By stroking their meat-headed meat-puppet egos?

1 Like

This “honest mistake” of confusing a taser with a firearm defence, is that the reason it’s manslaughter and not third degree murder?


That is literally all that this comes down to. Basic accountability.


I’m not a lawyer, but I’m wondering if there is concern about murder charges not sticking, hence the manslaughter charge. I think the worst case scenario could be charging her with murder, only to be found not guilty.


It’s been pointed out in multiple Twitter threads I’ve seen that the taser and the gun are holstered on opposite sides of the officer’s belt. And that the safety/trigger mechanism for a service weapon and a taser are completely different (specifically, the safety on a service weapon tends to be in the trigger, while the taser’s is on the side of the device, and the trigger action of a taser is a straight-back pull, while a gun’s is pivoted). If this somehow was a mistake, it required failures to engage with reality on multiple levels and at multiple points in time.