Mayor fires city manager who dared to call for due process in Daunte Wright shooting

It’s not uncommon to hear pundits say everything changed with the death of George Floyd, and the response to the apparently accidental death of a wanted criminal suspect trying to flee in a vehicle certainly suggests as much.

Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a Brooklyn Center police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday. According to Police Chief Tim Gannon, the officer intended to use her taser, not her service weapon, and the shooting is being classified as an “accidental discharge.”

Wright, 20, is identified as a black man, though his mother is white, and the female officer is white. Outside of that, facts don’t seem to matter too much as emotion and misinformation rule the day — Wright’s mother said he was stopped because of an air freshener. Even among city officials, as Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey was fired Monday for daring to call for due process for the officer involved.

Boganey’s referenced due process after Mayor Mike Elliot called for the officer to be fired immediately during a press conference earlier in the day — both men are black. Later, during an emergency meeting, the city council voted to fire Boganey, who was a longtime city employee, the Star Tribune reported.

“Effective immediately our city manager has been relieved of his duties, and the deputy city manager will be assuming his duties moving forward,” Elliott tweeted. “I will continue to work my hardest to ensure good leadership at all levels of our city government.”

Bodycam footage from the incident showed three officers in the process of handcuffing Wright outside his vehicle when the suspect violently jerked away and jumped inside the car. A female voice could be heard shouting “Taser!” in the body-cam footage just before Wright was shot.

Pulled over for an expired registration, officers attempted to arrest him after learning that he had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court on charges of fleeing from officers and illegally possessing a gun, the Associated Press reported.

Wright’s mother showed up at the scene of the shooting Sunday and, according to the Star Tribune, said at one point, “All he did was have air fresheners in the car and they told him to get out of the car.”

At Monday’s press conference, Elliot and Boganey spoke about potential disciplinary action toward the officer.

“All employees working for the city of Brooklyn Center are entitled to due process with respect to discipline,” Boganey said. “This employee will receive due process and that’s really all that I can say today.”

Pressed by the media on whether he personally felt the police officer should be fired, he again deferred to due process — which is now apparently a fireable offense in Brooklyn Center.

“If I were to answer that question, I’d be contradicting what I said a moment ago — which is to say all employees are entitled to due process and after that due process, discipline will be determined,” Boganey said. “If I were to say anything else, I would actually be contradicting the idea of due process.”

The press conference is seen below:

Rioting and looting broke out in Brooklyn Center Sunday evening after the shooting, and continued Sunday night. Protests were held in other cities around the country as the media pushed a racial narrative.

For what it’s worth, President Joe Biden responded to the incident to say we should wait until an investigation has determined the facts and was clear in denouncing the looting and rioting.

“The question is was it an accident or was it intentional?” the president told reporters. “That remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation. In the meantime, I want to make it clear again: There is absolutely no justification, none, for looting. No justification for violence. Peaceful protest? Understandable.”

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Tom Tillison

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