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Black man killed by police in Minnesota was 'amazing, loving kid'

(Reuters) – Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in a Minneapolis suburb during a traffic stop on Sunday, was kind, liked basketball and had a tight-knit family, according to media interviews with his relatives. 

  Former U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for a "full and transparent investigation" into the death of Wright, who police say was shot when the officer mistakenly grabbed her pistol, rather than her Taser, after a routine traffic stop. 

  Wright's mother, Katie Wright, told ABC News on Tuesday that her son was an "amazing, loving kid" who "had a big heart," loved his sisters and brothers and enjoyed playing basketball with his young son. Wright's aunt told CNN her nephew was a "damn fine kid" and stressed he did not come from a broken home. 

  "He had a 2-year-old son that's not going to be able to play basketball with him," the mother said on ABC's "Good Morning America." 

  "He just had his whole life taken away from him. We had our hearts pulled out of our chests. He was my baby." 

  Wright was shot on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, after being pulled over for what police said was an expired car registration. Officers then discovered there was a warrant out for Wright's arrest, and one officer accidentally drew her pistol instead of her Taser during a struggle with Wright, Brooklyn Center's police chief told a news briefing on Monday. 

  Wright's death ignited two consecutive nights of unrest in Brooklyn Center. Hundreds of protesters clashed with law enforcement outside the city's police headquarters on Monday in defiance of a curfew ordered by Governor Tim Walz. 

  The region had already been on edge for weeks with the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, taking place just a few miles away from where the shooting of Wright occurred. 

  During a memorial vigil on Monday evening at the spot where Wright was killed, relatives remembered him as a good-natured father who worked multiple jobs to support his son. 

  "My brother lost his life because they were trigger-happy," his older half-sibling, Dallas Wright, told the crowd. 

  “My heart is broken in a thousand pieces. … I miss him so much, and it’s only been a day,” his mother said as she wept at the vigil. "He was my life, he was my son and I can never get that back. Because of a mistake? Because of an accident?” 

  Wright's aunt, Naisha Wright, told CNN late on Monday evening that she too could not accept the explanation that the officer who fired the fatal shot, identified as 26-year department veteran Kim Potter, used her gun by mistake. 

  "My nephew was a damn good kid. He loved his family. And we loved him," the aunt said. 

  Wright was killed just 10 miles (16 km) from where Floyd, 46, lost his life while under arrest for allegedly passing a bogus $20 bill, unleashing a months-long nationwide upheaval of protests against racial injustice in the U.S. law enforcement system. 

  In a statement, Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama called for a thorough investigation into the shooting and for the country to "reimagine policing and public safety" after "yet another shooting of a Black man." 

  (Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut and Susan Heavey in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler and Jonathan Oatis) 

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