Bodycam footage has been released of a police encounter with the mother of Daunte Wright, the Black driver fatally shot by a Brooklyn Center police officer last year. Katie Wright says an officer threatened to arrest her for obstruction Wednesday night in the city where her son was killed, CBS Minnesota reports.
According to the activist group Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, Katie Wright was recording a police interaction on Facebook Live. The video shows her recording several officers involved in an apparent traffic stop on southbound Highway 252, broadcasting the scene from across the median.
At one point during the broadcast, one of the officers crosses the busy highway, speaks to Wright and appears to grab her hand. The activist group says the encounter left Wright with an injured wrist.
While there was no recorded audio on the part of the broadcast with the officer, Wright claims that the officer told her she was under arrest for obstruction of justice for videotaping the officers and that she would receive tickets in the mail. In Minnesota, it is not illegal to record police officers, so long as it doesn’t get in the way of an investigation.
“Once I told him who I was, he let me go,” Wright said in a later portion of the video with audio. “I just pulled over nicely, making sure these people end up safe … because we know Brooklyn Center kills people.”
Brooklyn Center police issued a statement on the incident and quickly released the officer’s police body camera footage. This came after Wright and activists met with Mayor Mike Elliott.
“While assisting another agency on a high-risk stop as part of a homicide investigation, there was an encounter between Katie Wright and Brooklyn Center officers,” the city’s statement said. “The release of the footage is in an effort to promote public safety and dispel widespread rumor or unrest.”
The body camera video shows an officer putting a suspect in the back of a squad car before crossing the highway and confronting Wright, who is sitting in her car and recording the encounter. According to police, the suspect had requested that she did not want her arrest to be recorded.
In the body camera video, the police officer asks Wright for her driver’s license, and she refuses to give it. Immediately after, the officer threatens to “take her to jail for obstruction.”
The officer grabs Wright’s wrist, pulls her out of the car, and takes the phone out of her hand, the body camera video shows. The two walk into the highway median, and Wright says: “You know who I am, right? My name is Katie Wright, and you guys killed my son.” She tells the officer that if they take her to jail she’ll sue the department.
Chuck Valleau, the president of the union representing rank and file officers in the Brooklyn Center Police Department, issued a statement, calling the officer’s response “professional” and thanked him for showing restraint.
“I sympathize with the Wright family for their loss, but it does not give them free reign to stalk, harass, or threaten any of our officers just because they are wearing a uniform,” he said. “Our officers continue to come to work and bravely fight an impossible rise in violent crime in our city. We thank the residents of Brooklyn Center and others who continue to support us in our effort to keep Brooklyn Center safe.”
Katie Wright’s son died on April 11, 2021, when former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter fatally shot him during a traffic stop. In court, she said that she meant to use her Taser, and didn’t mean to shoot Wright.
Earlier this year, a jury convicted Potter of manslaughter. She was.
Since Daunte Wright’s death, Brooklyn Center says they have been working to reform policing in the city.