George Floyd’s girlfriend was Daunte Wright’s former teacher, according to Wright’s aunt, who spoke at a press conference Tuesday in Minneapolis with members from both families whose loved ones died following encounters with Minnesota law enforcement.
Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney representing the families of Floyd and Wright in their separate cases, held a press conference outside the Hennepin County Courthouse on Tuesday amid the ongoing trial for Derek Chauvin.
“And the craziest thing to find out today is that my family has connections to this man, to this family. His girlfriend was a teacher for my nephew,” Daunte Wright’s aunt, Naisha Wright, said at the press conference. “My nephew was a lovable young man. … My nephew’s blood is on your hands.”
BROOKLYN CENTER POLICE CHIEF, OFFICER RESIGN AFTER 2 NIGHTS OF RIOTS IN MINNESOTA
Late Tuesday into early Wednesday marked the third consecutive night of civil unrest in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, as violent demonstrations have also spilled into nearby Minneapolis. The Minnesota National Guard has bolstered its presence as the trial for Chauvin nears its ends and closing arguments are expected next week.
Naisha Wright did not name Floyd’s ex-girlfriend. But Courteney Ross, 45, testified during the trial for Chauvin two weeks ago that she and Floyd continued an on-again, off-again relationship since meeting in 2017 at a Salvation Army shelter where he worked as a security guard. She told the court they both grew addicted to opioids after initially being prescribed them for pain.
Daunte Wright, 20, was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center Police officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop on Sunday. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon on Monday released the body camera footage of the deadly encounter, telling reporters at a press conference he believed the officer meant to grab her Taser, but grabbed her handgun instead, categorizing the incident as an “accidental discharge.”
Both Potter and Gannon resigned on Tuesday. Mayor Mike Elliott, whose office assumed command authority over the police department on Monday evening, appointed Tony Gruenig, who has been with the force for 19 years, as acting chief of police, following Gannon’s resignation.
“Every pistol, every Taser, has a safety on it. She saw that she had to release that. I watched that video like everybody else watched that video. That woman held that gun out in front of her for a long damn time. A long damn time,” Naisha Wright said Tuesday. “My nephew was 20 years old … I don’t care what nobody got to say about him. He was loved. He was ours. He came from us. My brother and my sister are hurt. Like I said, this is no broken home. This is no broken home. This is 23 years of love.”
“Did ya’ll not see my great nephew? Did ya’ll not see that beautiful baby? He is fatherless,” she added, referring to Daunte Wright’s toddler son who relatives brought out to protests Sunday.
MINNESOTA OFFICER MEANT TO FIRE TASER, NOT HANDGUN, IN DEADLY DAUNTE WRIGHT SHOOTING, POLICE CHIEF SAYS
The body-camera footage shows Wright struggling with police when a female officer shouts, “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” She draws her weapon after the man breaks free from police and gets back into the car. After firing a single shot, the car speeds away, and Potter says, “Holy (expletive)! I shot him.”
Police said that officers pulled Wright over for an expired tag on his vehicle, and after running his driver’s license, discovered he had an active warrant for his arrest. According to Hennepin County District Court documents obtained by Fox News, Wright was accused of choking and attempting to rob a woman at gunpoint in a December 2019 incident in Osseso, Minnesota. He was released on $100,000 bail. His bail was revoked in July because he allegedly possessed a firearm and was not keeping in touch with his probation officer.
Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, reportedly was training a new officer in the field Sunday at the time of the incident. She became president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officer’s Association in 2019. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said Tuesday he expected to file some sort of charges against Potter by Wednesday.
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The shooting happened just 10 miles from where Chauvin was seen in a viral bystander video pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck and back on the pavement in front of Cup Foods in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. The trial for Chauvin continues Wednesday, and the defense has repeatedly made the argument that drugs in Floyd’s system and underlying health conditions, not Chauvin’s actions, caused Floyd’s death
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.