Watch CBS News

Lawsuit Alleges Daunte Wright Carjacked, Assaulted Man 3 Weeks Before His Death

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A man is suing the estate of Daunte Wright, alleging the 20-year-old shot and killed by a Brooklyn Center police officer in April carjacked and assaulted him in March.

The lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County by attorney Michael B. Padden on behalf of Joshua Hodges, seeks more than $50,000 from Wright's estate and claims Hodges suffered "severe emotional distress and mental anguish" as a result of the alleged incident.

The suit alleges Hodges was sitting in his car in north Minneapolis the evening of March 21 when Wright and another man approached. Hodges recognized Wright from school.

According to the lawsuit, the other man shot Hodges in the leg, after which Wright "assaulted" Hodges' face and stole his wallet and cellphone.

Wright is alleged to have then stolen Hodges' vehicle and driven away. The other man left the scene in the vehicle in which he and Wright arrived, the suit states.

WCCO has reached out to the Wright family's attorney for comment.

Another lawsuit filed in May by Padden on behalf of Jennifer LeMay alleges Wright "shot and badly injured then-teenage Caleb Livingston in May of 2019, causing "serious, disabling, and permanent injuries."

That lawsuit also seeks more than $50,000 from Wright's estate. The Wright family's attorney did not respond to a request for comment on that lawsuit.

Wright, 20, was fatally shot by now-former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter on April 11 during a traffic stop. Potter and another officer pulled Wright over for having expired tabs, and because he had an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. The officers then discovered there was a gun-related arrest warrant out for him. During the traffic stop, as seen from police body camera footage, Wright got out of his car momentarily, then jumped back inside.

BCPD's now-ex chief said Potter meant to grab her Taser to subdue him, but accidentally grabbed her service weapon and fatally shot Wright at close range.

Wright's death -- in the midst of the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd -- sparked several nights of protest outside BCPD's headquarters, some of which turned violent. Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter, and her trial is set to begin in December.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.