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'There is never going to be justice for us': Daunte Wright's family speaks out as ex-officer makes first court appearance

"We are still going to bury our son. We are still never going to be able to see our baby boy," Wright's mother said at a news conference with attorney Benjamin Crump.

Days after Daunte Wright died following a routine traffic stop in what law enforcement officials claimed was a mistaken shooting, the Minnesota police officer who shot him appeared in a Hennepin County courtroom on a charge of second-degree manslaughter.

Former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter has not entered a plea, and a subsequent court appearance has been scheduled for May 17. Shortly before Potter appeared in court by Zoom, Wright's family asked for accountability at a news conference.

The families of other Black people killed by police didn't get justice, said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Wright's family.

"They got no due process," he said. "They didn't get to have the officers come before the court of law and have the witnesses and the evidence presented to a jury to make a determination whether they would have any criminal liability."

Image: Daunte Wright holds his son, Daunte Wright Jr.
Daunte Wright holds his son, Daunte Wright Jr.via Facebook

Daunte's father, Aubrey Wright, said his son was "very much loved."

"These young Black men being killed — can you blame my son or anyone else for being scared of the police?" he said.

Daunte's sister, Destiny, said her brother was "the most delightful person I have ever met."

"He was everything. Everything. His smile, his jokes, everything about him, and she took that from us," she said. "And I am very disappointed."

Wright's mother, Katie Wright, said: "There is never going to be justice for us. We are still going to bury our son. We are still never going to be able to see our baby boy."

Even as she said justice was out of reach, Wright said she wanted one thing: "accountability."

At the news conference, Crump noted that in a different Minnesota case in which a Black male police officer shot a white female bystander, the charge was third-degree murder, and the officer was sentenced to over 12 years in prison.

Echoing Crump's point, Naisha Wright, Wright's aunt, held up photos of a bright yellow Taser alongside a Glock handgun and asked, "Manslaughter?"

"This is a Taser! This is a Taser!" she said. "But no, my nephew was killed by this, a Glock!"

Public officials also spoke out about the killing.

At a vaccination event earlier Thursday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he had spoken to Wright's mother, who he said asked that the state "do better."

"I don't think it's much of a debate. You're less safe to be Black in Minnesota than you are to be white right now on these things," Walz said. "And they're asking: 'Are there some changes that we can make, both legislatively and culturally, that will start to reduce that?'"

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said Wednesday that he joined the Wright family Wednesday night "to pay my respects and mourn with them for their loss."

"My heart goes out to his mother, father, and the rest of the family. I know you're hurting, we're all hurting, but we stand with you in this moment. #DaunteWright," he wrote on Twitter.

During Potter's pretrial hearing on Zoom, Judge Paul Scoggin said her next court date is likely to be in person if pandemic restrictions are lifted in Hennepin County courtrooms.