Daunte Wright death: For an officer to mistake their gun for a Taser and fatally shoot a man in tense Minneapolis beggars belief

The death of Daunte Wright would have sparked disbelief and outrage at anytime. That a police officer could mistake their firearm for their Taser seems unfathomable.

For it to happen in Minneapolis during such a tense time for the city beggars belief.

The police bodycam footage released soon after Mr Wright’s death made for difficult for viewing.

The 20-year-old can be seen attempting to get back into his vehicle when he’s shot by an officer who appears to scream in shock when they realise they’ve fired a bullet instead of a Taser.

And a routine traffic stop becomes another tragic death.

For weeks the city has been on edge, braced for protests during the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd.

Few would have imagined the unrest would be stoked prior to the verdict by another futile loss of life at the hands of law enforcement.

In scenes all too reminiscent for this Minnesota city, protests and unrest erupted in the suburb of Brooklyn Center, north of Minneapolis.

Tear gas was used to clear protesters and the National Guard was deployed.

A curfew order remained in place through the night but as dawn rose the aftermath emerged – more smashed up shops, emptied shelves, raided by looters.

Just 10 miles away, the courthouse is already surrounded by heavy security for the trial of Chauvin who is charged with the murder and manslaughter of Mr Floyd.

His younger brother Philonise broke down in court as he described the impact his death has had on their family.

The Floyds have had to relive the last moments of his life time and time again in painful testimony in recent weeks.

Medical expert after medical expert have argued it was a lack of oxygen that caused his death – but on Monday a cardiologist went further.

Dr Jonathan Rich told the jury that George Floyd’s death was preventable. Put simply, he said Floyd would still be alive today had it not been for the actions of Derek Chauvin.

“He would have gone home or wherever he was going to go,” the doctor told the court.

The same could be said for Daunte Wright – who didn’t make it home from a routine traffic stop.

Many fear his death has ignited an anger that was simmering here ahead of any verdict deemed unsatisfactory by a community still raw with emotion after Mr Floyd’s death.

Minneapolis feels on a knife edge.

And in many ways so is the nation.

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