MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A family is grieving and a community is reeling after the police shooting death of Daunte Wright in suburban Minneapolis.
Both the officer who shot White and the police chief resigned on Tuesday. The medical examiner says 20 year old Daunte Wright died from a gunshot wound to the chest.
This tragedy is one Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings says could be prevented with proper training.
“We know that these incidents have occurred ever since there was a Taser available. Some officers have had the intent to draw and taser and actually drew their weapon,” said Mike Rallings.
Rallings, who is set to retire this week, told News Channel Three’s April Thompson training is the key to preventing costly mistakes like this one.
“Because we know in a very stressful situation where things are rapidly unfolding. The officer may be fighting with someone, a mistake can be made. But once that bullet is fired, you can’t take it back,” said Rallings.
Rallings, who was an instructor at the MPD academy, says he “brought” Tasers to the Memphis Police Department as a way to safely resolve incidents without using deadly force. He enacted strict training in their use, including a policy they not be worn on the same side as their service weapon.
“If you wear them on the same side, that’s a recipe for disaster. We purposely chose a Tasers that’s a high visibility yellow color. We didn’t want a taser that looked like a handgun. We wanted officers to wear it on the opposite side of their gun,” said Rallings.
Rallings says his thoughts and prayers go out to Daunte Wright’s family, and like many, he’s waiting to hear all the facts of what exactly happened. He stresses now is not the time to defund police departments when training and hiring more officers is critically important not only to Memphis but every city in the country.
“’Cause I just hate to think of me trying to live in a community where there’s no police,” Rallings said.