BURLINGTON CITY, N.J. - Daunte Wright was stopped by officers for expired tags Sunday afternoon. There was a warrant for Wright for a gross misdemeanor. Officers attempted to arrest Wright, but he got back into his vehicle. It was then an officer fired her gun, hitting Wright, who then drove several blocks before crashing into another car.
The Medical Examiner says Wright died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. He was 20-years-old.
Of course, what happened in those few minutes in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota are raising so many questions about police training.
Before Burlington City Patrolman Andrew Kostic climbs into his police cruiser to start his shift, he does a number of checks, including making sure his taser is properly functioning.
"Sounds like this. Make sure arch are arching properly. There you go," Kostic explained.
Kostic says he carries his gun on his right hip, since he’s right-handed, and his taser on his left.
"My firearm black, taser bright yellow. Kind of hard to miss," Kostic commented.
Chief of Police John Fine says all his officers – 33 full-time and 10 part-time – follow strict protocol and go through extensive training to ensure they make the right decisions.
"Scenario-based training, that you’re trying to put the officers in different scenarios, which may cause stress, but also trigger that split-second decision and then you evaluate that in a controlled setting," Chief Fine explained.
Chief Fine says all police officers in Burlington County must complete implicit bias training.
"You may think one thing is happening when, in reality, something else is happening. As long as you identify that bias, you take a step back and become more objective, that’s where we are trying to go as law enforcement," Chief Fine remarked.
The fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright is raising questions about training. The former chief saying the officer thought she was reaching for her taser and accidentally pulled out her gun.
"It’s sad we have to keep having these conversations," Carl Day said.
Day is a North Philadelphia pastor and community activist. He believes police need to have a better pulse of the community.
"I think there has to be a lot more assessment being done. You know what I mean? Mentally understanding people’s biases and if people aren’t passing those tests, they shouldn’t be recommended to have the job," Pastor Day explained.
Pastor Day says the problem is biases don’t just go away based on training. It takes time to unlearn them. Chief Fine says his officers know how important communication is – to talk to people, not at them and treat them like they would their family.
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