The deadly police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb, is once again sparking tense questions surrounding policing.
Wright was shot and killed by an officer Sunday night during a traffic stop. The Brooklyn Center Police Chief later claimed the officer mistook her gun for her taser.
“When I look at this, from a law enforcement filter – it looks like a mistake,” said Gregory Smith, Director of the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.
Both Smith and Dr. Alex Del Carmen, an Associate Dean and professor at the school of criminology at Tarleton State University, believe that such a mistake should never have happened.
“If the police department claims this officer was trained it doesn’t necessarily mean she was well trained,” said Del Carmen. “You can train people all day and all night but you get them out on the street they are going to act on instinct.”
The fatal shooting comes as former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is standing trial in Minneapolis for the murder of George Floyd. Smith says he can understand the belief by many in communities of color that more needs to be done to understand and confront the prevalence of police shootings of unarmed men of color.
“Is there some unconscious bias going on, is there some unconscious fear going on that we need to wrap our brain around because this occurring far too much,” said Smith. “We need to really look at not just who are we hiring but who are we keeping,” he continued.