Cop Mistakes Taser Gun for Real Gun: Fatally Wounds Man


Photo via wikimedia commons under creative commons license

Typical taser gun that is issued to cops.

Ava Curtis, Staff Writer

Twenty-year-old Daunte Wright was killed after a veteran cop pulled a real gun out on him instead of a taser.

After police pulled him over for driving with expired plates and an item hanging from his rearview mirror, they discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest and tried to arrest him. However, Wright tried to flee the scene, but Officer Kim Potter shot him in the chest before he could escape.

The Glock she used was black metal and almost a pound heavier than the plastic taser Potter had. Therefore the question of how she confused the two is still up in the air. The standard gun used is a few inches taller than the taser, and the Glock 17 has a trigger safety that must be depressed when the trigger is pulled. Typically officers wear the two wraps on different sides of their body to avoid mistakes like this.

After reviewing the arrest, they concluded that she was not checking what weapon was in her hand before pulling the trigger, and the department believes it was just a horrible mistake. Taking into account the amount of stress put on officers in general because more and more are getting killed while doing routine traffic stops, and the recent protest against the police, the spokeswoman for the National Police Association Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith called it “a horrible, horrible motor glitch that could happen in high-stress situations.”

Other authorities believe that it was muscle memory to pull out her gun, and although there was no intent to use deadly force, Potter will not be excused from this incident. She turned in her badge to the force and resigned after her 26 years of service. It is questionable if the need for a taser was even present during this situation, so overall, this tragedy further demonstrates the lack of training police forces have with weapons, more specifically tasers.