On Sunday, 20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, just miles from where George Floyd was killed last year. According to several reports, the police pulled Wright over because an air freshener was allegedly blocking his rearview mirror.
During a news conference on Monday, Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon said that he believes Potter intended to “deploy her Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.”
The incident and the explanation by the police chief leave many questions that need to be answered, including, how it’s possible anyone, let alone a 26-year veteran of the police force, as Potter is, could confuse a Taser with an actual gun?
Ask Fox News, though, and the real person we should feel sympathy for is Potter, while Wright really has only himself to blame for being shot.
On Monday, Fox News host Martha MacCallum insisted that viewers “think about Potter as well today, because that officer’s life is forever changed by this, what is being referred to as an accident.”
After an emotional Geraldo Rivera, somehow acting as the voice of reason, said that police brutality against Black people “has gone on too long,” that there is “too much pain and suffering,” and that he wants “a situation where Black mothers don’t have to fear the cops more than they fear the crooks when their kids go out,” and that “it is a situation that is absolutely intolerable,” MacCallum maintained that no one should be jumping to any conclusions here.
“I just want to point out,” she said, “We need to allow the process to play out, we need to know what was going on, every one of these situations is individual and unique.” Then she read off a list of Wright’s alleged past misdeeds and suggested that the officer was right to respond in the manner she did.
“When you look at the circumstances here…this young man had an outstanding warrant for gross misdemeanor for carrying a pistol without a permit and a misdemeanor for fleeing the police,” MacCallum said. “The warrant [was] issued April 2, he failed to appear in court. This is likely why the officer asked him to get out of the car when they ran his license plate.”
Then she charitably offered that that “there was no reason for this to end the way [they] did,” before suggesting that Wright would be alive today if he hadn’t supposedly resisted arrest. “[His own mother] said ‘show your hands, don’t run,’ because she could hear on her cell phone someone saying to her son ‘don’t run,’ and this tragedy could have ended very differently,” MacCallum said.
As for how an officer could confuse a Taser with a gun, The New York Times reports that it is, unsurprisingly, extremely difficult:
Tasers look and feel different from pistols in a number of ways, and most police forces—including Brooklyn Center’s—have standard precautions and protocols in place to prevent the sort of mix-up that can be deadly.
Tasers are often produced in bright colors, or with neon accents, to distinguish them from pistols. The Brooklyn Center Police Department manual cites the Glock 17, 19, and 26 as standard-issue for the department. All three pistol models weigh significantly more than a typical Taser. Glocks also have a trigger safety that can be felt when touching the trigger. Tasers do not. Grips on Tasers are typically different from those of firearms, as well, though they may feel similar because both are usually made of a similar type of polymer.
“If you train enough, you should be able to tell,” Scott DeFoe, a retired sergeant with the LAPD, told the Times.
Watch the Fox News segment below.
Martha MacCallum is currently reading what she claims is Daunte Wright's criminal record following press conference on his murder by police .
She was not recapping the press conference — this information was not mentioned. She prepped for this. pic.twitter.com/W1QzXQMwZR
— Madeline Peltz (@peltzmadeline) April 12, 2021