Daunte Wright’s older brother Damik Bryant told CNN he believes Wright did not know there was a warrant for his arrest.
Wright died following an encounter with Brooklyn Center police at a traffic stop Sunday afternoon.
Moments before the traffic stop, Bryant said Wright was heading to Bryant’s new home for a visit. Bryant said he had texted Wright asking him what was taking so long, and Wright said he had been at a car wash.
He said when his brother was pulled over, he sent him a text saying, “I got pulled over” and asked about the insurance information. Bryant said he told his brother to call their mother for that information and he did.
But by that time, Bryant said, officers had already entered Wright’s name in the system. “So he called my mom. And she said put me on the phone with the officer, but he already told him his name not thinking he had a warrant, you know, cops came back to the car and the original stop was for air fresheners,” Bryant said.
“They asked him to step out the car and you know his first instinct was, ‘what did I do, what’s wrong?’ And they were like ‘well, put the phone down, get out the car now we’ll talk to you about it when you get out.’ So, he gets out the car, and you know he’s, there’s a bunch of police already, you know, so they ask him to put his hands behind his back, and then he tries to get back in the car to leave and they fired,” Bryant said.
While police have not explained why they conducted the initial traffic stop, his mother told CNN affiliate WCCO that Wright told her “they pulled him over because had air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror.”
Wright’s girlfriend was riding in the car with him, Bryant told CNN.
“His girlfriend called my mom on FaceTime and said that they shot Daunte and mom was like, ‘let me see him’ and he was slumped over,” Bryant said wiping away tears. “We don’t even really know why. We know what happened and we don’t know why.”