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'Keep his name alive': Remembering Daunte Wright one year later

A BBQ and candlelight vigil will take place Monday night at the Daunte Wright Memorial in Brooklyn Center.

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minnesota — Monday, April 11 marks one year since the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by then-Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. 

"I can't believe it's already been a year," said Katie Wright, Daunte's mother. "People say it gets easy and it hasn't yet." 

On April 11, 2021, then Officer Potter shot and killed Daunte, 20, during a traffic stop. Potter said she mistakenly drew her gun instead of a taser. 

RELATED: Kim Potter sentenced to 2 years in prison

It happened amidst the trial of Derek Chauvin and led to nights of clashes between protesters and police outside Brooklyn Center police headquarters.

"Just walking down the street, and seeing some kid that looks like him from behind, is hard. I would say out of a whole 24 hours, I think of him at least 19 hours of that... even my sleep when I'm dreaming about him. Just wishing that we still had him," Katie said. 

Credit: David Peterlinz
Katie Wright, Daunte Wright's mother.

Katie continues to advocate for change. Last May, Brooklyn Center City Council passed the Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler Community Safety and Violence Prevention Act. 

"The main goal is to keep community safe and use police where they need to be used and use other resources to alleviate that part of policing with traffic stops and mental health crises," Katie said. 

RELATED: Brooklyn Center council approves roadmap to reform police in 4-1 vote

Police had pulled Daunte over for having expired tabs and an air freshener on his rearview mirror. 

Katie is now on a committee to help change the city's approach to public safety. They held their first meeting about a month ago.  

"It's bigger than Daunte, it's bigger than Minnesota, and that fight will never quit until we don't have to be in the predicament that our families have been in," she said. 

Credit: David Peterlinz
To mark one year, there will be a BBQ and candelight vigil at the Daunte Wright Memorial on Monday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Katie often returns to the Daunte Wright Memorial. She said she is working with the city on a more permanent memorial for the space. 

RELATED: Brooklyn Center memorial for Daunte Wright won't be removed

"It brings back a lot of bad memories. I sat there for six hours watching my son's body lay on the ground, so it's hard. But I feel most connected to him there, as well," Katie said. 

To mark one year, there will be a BBQ and candlelight vigil at the Daunte Wright Memorial on the corner of 63rd Avenue North and Kathrene Drive in Brooklyn Center on Monday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Katie said they are calling it Daunte's "Angelversary," adding, "He wouldn't want us to sit around and cry. He would definitely want us to celebrate." 

Watch more on the death of Daunte Wright:

Watch the latest coverage on the death of Daunte Wright and the trial of Kim Potter in our YouTube playlist:

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