Accidental Shooting? 🤔
Simple Situation, Out Of Control
Another shooting, another summer of riots. This video comes out of Minnesota, captured on body camera.
It starts off with a traffic stop involving several police officers and Daunte Wright, who is eventually shot and dies. Mr. Wright is reported to had been stopped for a traffic infraction, but police discovered he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
This is where the released body camera footage picks up, an officer is in the process of removing Mr. Wright from his car and begins to arrest him. Unfortunately, the officer decides to initiate the handcuffing procedure directly beside the still open drivers door. This is a bad idea, as it gives the ability of the arrestee to escape the situation in a 2000+lb missile, rather than simply on foot should he so decide.
As expected, Mr. Wright isn’t agreeable to being arrested, so he decides to resist arrest and reenter the drivers seat of the car. In so doing, he introduces volatility to what is otherwise a common occurrence for police officers. This doesn’t justify the outcome, but to put it in short – play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Unfortunately for Mr. Wright, one of the officers on scene seems to have not taken her profession very seriously. She subsequently fails entirely at properly responding to his resisting arrest.
What Is Yellow & Not A Gun?
At this point, although an officer can be expected to be slightly stressed out, it’s still rather simple. Mr. Wright is trying to get back in his car, presumably to escape. The officers haven’t been shot at, stabbed, or similar. I expect anybody with a badge and a gun to maintain composure in these circumstances, as does society at large.
Officer Kim Potter didn’t seem to share that sentiment in her progression through law enforcement, or was perhaps having a really really bad day. Either way, Officer Potter pulls out her firearm, while screaming “taser, taser, taser”.
This is a situation that has been seen before, cops becoming so overwhelmed by a fear response that they fail to detect the very object they’re holding in their hand. It’s for that reason that the Taser is yellow, so as to assist an officer who has succumb to tunnel vision with a very clear visual cue. I can completely understand if an officer fails to differentiate a taser and a gun in extreme stress, but a guy resisting arrest… That just ain’t it.
Officer Potter then shoots Mr. Wright in the stomach area, at which time he drives off. The officer seems shocked at her own inept actions, and the video ends.
It came as no surprise to me to read that Officer Potter was involved in several law enforcement unions. Unions are toxic to performance as they insulate the worst officers from scrutiny, and ensure that the mean average performance approaches that of the lowest common denominator (has arms, legs, does yearly qualifications).
Officer Potter is reported to have been an officer for 26 years, which to a layperson may indicate an expectation of competence. In my experience, however, it’s indicative of exactly nothing. Many police officers ride out their careers in administrative positions while hiding from real policing duties. Unfortunately these officers have periodic exposure to patrol work, during which time I noticed they fail at literally everything. Whether this is a factor in the shooting of Daunte Wright is yet to be seen, but it’s something to look out for.
It’s been suggested that this shooting was an accident, even by the local Chief of Police. I disagree, as I see it to be negligent. Now, was it intentionally negligent on the part of Officer Potter? I doubt it, as she merely demonstrated uselessness.
I will however suggest that there is intentional negligence on the part of police management teams. This is due to their permitting of useless police officers to be in the community while armed with firearms. Police managers ought to know, by now, that police officers have severe deficiencies in both training and expected competence.
Until this is address, these situations won’t change.