Daunte Wright’s girlfriend, Alayna Albrecht-Payton, who was in the car earlier this month when a Brooklyn Center police officer fatally shot her boyfriend, suffered a fractured jaw during the police encounter, her family says.
Albrecht-Payton’s mother, Danielle Albrecht, says her daughter’s jaw was broken and required surgery following the encounter on April 11, which she described as a “brutal attack.” Danielle Albrecht created a GoFundMe page to help cover her daughter’s medical expenses.
“Alayna did nothing to deserve this!” she wrote on the GoFundMe page. “This kind of treatment is sick…inhumane! Protect and serve? Isn’t that what the police are supposed to do? Sadly they don’t and sadly more lives continue to be lost!”
Attorney Robert Bennet, who is representing Albrecht-Payton, says his client’s jaw was wired shut as a result of her injuries. He added that Albrecht-Payton is also suffering from the emotional trauma of witnessing her boyfriend’s violent death.
Bennet said he intends to take legal action and that he’s requested all body-worn camera footage of Albrecht-Payton’s interactions with officers.
Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot during a traffic stop by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, who is white. The department’s former police chief said that Potter, a 26-year-veteran of the force, meant to use her Taser on Wright, but accidentally fired her gun instead.
Wright was initially stopped for expired tags, but officers tried to arrest him for a gross misdemeanor weapons warrant. As officers attempted to handcuff him, Wriight pulled away and got into the driver’s seat of his car. Body-worn camera footage shows Potter yelling “Taser, Taser” before shooting Wright with her firearm. Wright drove a short distance with Albrecht-Payton in the passenger’s seat before crashing. Wright died at the scene soon after.
Wright’s death sparked days of protest outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department. The shooting also raised tensions in the Twin Cities as it occurred during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who on Tuesday was found guilty of murdering George Floyd in May 2020.
Potter, 48, is charged with one count of second-degree manslaughter in Wright’s death. She was booked into the Hennepin County Jail but released after posting a $100,000 bond.
Family, friends, and community members began to say goodbye to Wright Wednesday. Mourners lined up to pay their respects next to his casket at Shiloh Temple in Minneapolis. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump spoke, vowing to help get justice for Wright’s family.
“We’re standing here making a solemn pledge: Katie and Aubrey and to all the Wright family — you won’t be fighting alone,” Crump said.
Rev. Al Sharpton, who also spoke at Wednesday’s service, will deliver the eulogy at Wright’s funeral Thursday, April 22, 2021.