Authorities in Brooklyn Center had a press conference on Monday following the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright, and one top Minnesota lawyer says it did not go over well at all.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, Mayor Mike Elliott, and City Manager Curt Boganey addressed reporters after a night of protests against the shooting.
"It is my belief that the officer had their intention to deploy the Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet," Gannon said.
Following the press conference, MSNBC's Katy Tur interviewed Mary Moriarty, the former chief public defender in Hennepin County, the state's most populous county that includes Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis.
"Mary, as we take this in, I just want your reaction," Tur said.
"First of all, he was pulled because of having expired tags," Moriarty. "That is a misdemeanor offense in Minnesota and as one of the reporters pointed out during the press conference, there has been a big delay in people getting their tags. Many people have expired tabs because of the pandemic."
"The second thing the police chief said was that there might have been a hanging object on the rearview mirror, which we heard last night might have been an air freshener," she continued. "And then the third things is that he discovered that he had a warrant. That warrant was on a gross misdemeanor gun possession case, so not a felony."
"The other thing about it was, he was actually summoned to come into court, not a warrant, and don't even sure he was aware that he needed to come to court. He missed the appearance and so there was a warrant. So why was she even using her taser on him at close range for any of these offenses?" she asked.
"And that's one of the reasons people are so angry. The other reason is last night the police used chemical irritants and rubber bullets on people who were trying to get information about what happened. Part of the problem was a lack of transparency, they didn't release any information, and all the information that was coming out was coming from the family and the mother and that kind of thing."
"This press conference was a disaster, because the police chief was defensive, and I could hear the voices of many activists who I know, from Minneapolis actually, were already there, this will certainly not be the end of the protests on this case, or George Floyd as well," Moriarty said.
She also said the chief, "was lecturing them about how peaceful protests were okay but anything beyond that was not. That, I can tell you, did not go over well with people in that room. It will not go over well now, either. So it was not handled well at all on a number of levels."
The officer who shot Wright has been placed on administrative leave, but has not been arrested or fired. The town is expecting further protests.
Mary Moriarty www.youtube.com