Daunte Wright shooting: Stephen Colbert says ‘sadly, we’re back where we started’

The Late Show host dedicated the start of his opening monologue to Minneapolis man fatally shot by police

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 13 April 2021 08:58
Daunte Wright was ‘accidentally’ shot dead by officer who was trying to taser him

Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue on the latest episode of The Late Show was dedicated to Daunte Wright, a Black man who was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis last week.

The 20-year-old died on Sunday (11 April) after cooperating in a routine traffic stop a few miles away from the courthouse where Derek Chauvin is being tried for the murder of George Floyd.

“Sadly, we’re back where we started because yesterday just a few miles from the Minneapolis courthouse another Black man was killed,” said Colbert.

“The cops determined that he had a warrant out for his arrest, and then as the police tried to detain him, he stepped back into his car, at which point an officer shot him. Angry citizens protested all last night in front of the police station.”

The police’s official explanation for the shooting was that the officer involved accidentally drew her handgun instead of her Taser, when approaching Wright. “It’s dangerous when a policeman can’t tell if you’re holding a gun; it’s insane when they can’t tell if they’re holding a gun,” Colbert said. “Now, you might think, ‘Hey, just don’t try to flee, and nothing bad will happen to you’ – and you would think wrong.”

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon released police video footage that showed Daunte being questioned by three officers, and then a female officer shooting him – apparently by mistake.

On Monday evening, the officer was identified as 49-year-old Kimberly Potter, who had served on the force for 26 years. She is currently on administrative leave.

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The footage showed the officer, shouting “Taser, Taser”, as police are trained to do when using the non-lethal device. Almost instantaneously, Ms Potter could be heard saying: “Holy s***, I just shot him.”

Gannon said: “This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge.”

Yet activists, residents and family members were not impressed by the chief’s words and demanded the officer be immediately fired and charged with murder. They also called for Gannon to lose his job.