Gregg Popovich: Police Killing of Daunte Wright 'Makes You Sick to Your Stomach'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2021

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich watches from the sideline during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Monday, March 15, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke out Monday against the killing of Daunte Wright, whom a police officer shot and killed in the Minneapolis suburbs Sunday during a traffic stop.

"It just makes you sick to your stomach. How many times does it have to happen?" Popovich said while speaking with reporters. "... That individual is dead. He's dead. And his family is grieving, and his friends are grieving."

You can see Popovich's comments below:

Brooklyn Center Police Department chief Tim Gannon said that Wright was pulled over because of expired registration, though body-camera footage showed a brief struggle break out between Wright and officers, per Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Julie Bosman of the New York Times.

Gannon said he believed the officer who shot and killed Wright did so accidentally.

"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. "This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright."

The unnamed officer has since been placed on administrative leave. The mayor of Brooklyn Center, Mike Elliott, called for the officer to be fired.

"We will get to the bottom of this," he said Monday. "We will do all that is within our power to make sure that justice is done for Daunte Wright."

All of the Minnesota teams currently in season—the Timberwolves, Wild and Twins—postponed Monday's scheduled games in the wake of the killing.

Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall joined Popovich in decrying the killing.

"It's something that needs to change," he told reporters. "Just too many innocent people getting their lives taken by cops. I'm not saying at all that all cops are bad—I'm not saying that one bit—but this is a reoccurring thing that happens in America and that needs to change."

He added: "I have three Black sisters, a mom and dad. Most of my friends are Black. So, it's scary that we could just leave the house and fear for ourselves. As soon as people hear cop sirens, they fear."