Cop Meant To Tase Motorist But Shot Him Instead In ‘Accidental Discharge’ Chief Says | Talking Points Memo

A Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis police officer shot a Black motorist Saturday after repeatedly shouting “Taser,” the town’s police chief said at a press conference Monday.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

A person who causes the death of another by any of the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both: (1) by the person’s culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another . . . .


Assuming that all the facts are as they appear to be at the moment, this would seem to be an appropriate outcome for that particular police officer.
The indictment of our policing in general is a separate issue.


Well Oky Doky then
No harm, no foul???

Gannon explained that they train with their handguns on their dominant side and the taser on their weak side, to prevent what happened. It did not prevent what happened.


This is only of interest to those of us in the Twin Cities area, but why was the Star-Tribune not allowed into the press conference (dear hubby, who’s lived here all his life, calls the paper the Star and Sickle, but that shouldn’t be an issue here).

That the officer is on video/audio admitting the mistake is certainly a problem for her and the force. The two weapons (gun and taser) should most definitely not be remotely physically the same to avoid just such tragedies.

She’s on admin leave, but I have to imagine her mental anguish over the situation may well impact her ability to come back on the force, especially if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the mistake was made.

I see a wrongful death suit against the officer/town, but that’s probably about it.

Not quite sure what relevance the thin blue line flag has, but I’m sure something will be made about it.

OT, slightly, but the Minnesota Twins were to host a ball game tonight with the Boston Red Sox. The game has been postponed because of this event (official announcement by the team), but it’s also on and off raining in the region today, so ok.


Someone skipped that day of training. But it’s okay, she had a note from her mom.


Culpable negligence sure seems present, creating an unreasonable risk is pretty damn obvious, and even if it had only been the taser in her hands, seems to me that pulling the trigger on it was consciously taking the chance of causing death or great bodily harm.


Sorry, but this sounds a lot like the Matt Gaetz excuse of “I meant to statutorily rape her in a different hole.”


“Whoopsies…accidentally killed a person”-FIFY


It’s a pretty big whoopsy. A taser generally only stuns (which is the whole point of the weapon); a gun will do far more, and permanent, damage.


Ummm…yeah…My Old Man was a cop. He used to mix up a taser with his service revolver ALL THE TIME, It’s a REAL COMMON mistake.


Photo of service revolver:


Photo of taser:


Now there are varying forms of tasers:

Would be much more difficult to mix this up with a service revolver.

So the question is, how similar are Brooklyn Center’s two pieces of equipment?

Should be evidence in the wrongful death suit.


I don’t disagree with you. I am just being cautious in that both of us are operating based on second-hand knowledge derived from statements by (not even) witnesses. I personally did not see the body cam video, just a description of it. It is not completely inconceivable that there were further aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

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That WAS sarcasm you know.

Actually, this is stupid enough to be true. He MEANT to go for his taser but was so keyed up he plucked out his Smoke Wagon instead.

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Understood, but it is worth asking the question.

In the meantime, the officer was female.

The body camera footage showed an officer drawing her gun on Wright but shouting “I”ll tase you!” and “Taser! Taser! Taser!”


Or “My Bad”
"Lets not argue about who killed who "


Aghh…I got it confused with the chief/

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I’m taking the police chief’s description of the shooting at face value. He can be 100% correct about the officer’s subjective state of mind, but she would still face criminal responsibility for second degree manslaughter. It seems pretty unlikely that she secretly knew she had her pistol in hand instead of her taser, but that would up the charges considerably if it were actually the case.


Guns make every situation safer.


I’m not an expert or anything, but I like cops that can tell the difference between a tazer and a pistol.