Ross told The Washington Post that Wright was a student while she was a dean at Edison High School. She described him as “a silly boy, as goofy as can be,” who required extra attention because he “needed a lot of love.”
“It’s almost too much,” she said.
As Blavity previously reported, Wright was shot and killed by a police officer on Sunday who allegedly meant to deploy her Taser, but instead fired her handgun. As protests erupted throughout the community, Brooklyn Center Police Department Chief Tim Cannon asserted that the shooting was accidental based on his analysis.
“As I watched the video and listened to the officers commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” he said at a Monday press conference. “This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer’s distress and reaction immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge.”
During the night of the shooting, Ross said she was on the phone with her sister when she mentioned that the shooting victim’s name was Daunte.
“No,” Ross said. “Is he light-skinned? Really skinny? I said, ‘no, no,’ I couldn’t believe it.”
She said Wright was a kind and likable young man who was cherished among those who knew him.
“Students like Daunte needed more resources but they never got more resources,” Ross said. “Our system doesn’t serve kids like Daunte. And now I’m seeing, more than ever, this system I once believed in, we’re done doing what we need to be doing to protect Black life.”
Although she was not extremely close to the late teenager, Ross said she last saw him being confronted by police on the corner in Brooklyn Center in the summer of 2019 while she was walking with Floyd.
“I’m full of sorrow,” she said. “We are constantly doing our disservice to our children. It’s so unfair.”
The Wright family connected with Floyd’s family on Tuesday. CNN reporter Sara Sidner tweeted a video of the moment and shared that the families’ pain was palpable.
“Oh man. So many tears falling here. #GeorgeFloyd’s family meets #DaunteWright’s family for the first time. Watching this in person is a whole lot. The families pain is searing. You can feel it,” she wrote.
Deleted initial tweet for my crap spelling. Apologies. pic.twitter.com/DnYsNIIRlg
— Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) April 13, 2021
Kim Potter, the officer who officials say shot and killed Wright, was charged with second-degree manslaughter this week, as Blavity previously reported. Potter, who served on the force for 26 years, could face up to 10 years in prison for the single charge and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
On Tuesday, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced that his office would be aiming to expeditiously file charges and complete a thorough investigation of the fatal incident. The case has been transferred over to Washington County prosecutors to avoid any conflicts of interest in Hennepin County where the shooting took place.