HEAVILY armed members of the Minnesota Freedom Fighters stood guard outside a church on Wednesday as mourners gathered to visit the body of Daunte Wright.
Wright, 20, was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officer Kim Potter on April 11 during a traffic stop when she allegedly mistook her taser for her gun.
- Read our Daunte Wright live blog for the latest updates…
His family members held a visitation at Shiloh Temple International Ministries yesterday, ahead of Wright's funeral, which is due to take place on Thursday afternoon.
Accompanied by Reverend Al Sharpton, Wright's mother Katie was seen stroking her son's hair as he lay in an open casket.
Hundreds of others attended to pay their respects.
Outside the ministry, heavily armed members of the Minnesota Freedom Fighters militia group stood guard.
Dressed in tactical gear -including bulletproof vests – and holding assault rifles, the group members surrounded the building throughout the visitation.
They also formed a line in front of Wright's casket as it was transferred from the back of a hearse and into the building.
The group was formed to provide security in Minneapolis' north side neighborhoods during unrest following the police killing of George Floyd last May.
Known for their forceful image and signature yellow patches, the group describes itself as an "elite security unit".
It's unclear how many members they have, though more than a dozen were seen outside the ministry on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Wright lay inside Shiloh Temple in an open casket covered in red roses.
Behind him, a screen played a montage of photos and videos of pictures of him with family and friends.
"It's horrible. I feel sadness. I feel like my heart was torn out of my chest," jis aunt, Kristie Bryant, told local media after viewing his casket.
Wright is survived by his two-year-old son.
His funeral will begin on Thursday and Rev. Sharpton will be delivering his eulogy, as he did for Floyd.
The officer responsible for Wright's shooting, Kim Potter, has since resigned from Brooklyn Center police.
She has also been arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter, though has not yet entered a plea.
Potter was released from jail after posting $100,000 bond.
Her attorney, Earl Gray, has so far declined to comment on the case.
Bodycam footage of the shooting was release last week, showing several officiers attempted to arrest Wright for an outstanding warrant.
In the footage, Potter is heard threatening to stun Wright with her taser, before firing her handgun.
Former Police Chief Tim Gannon, who also resigned in the wake of the shooting, called the incident an accident.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is representing the family.
In a statement at the viewing, he said: "When you watch that video your conscience tells you it is the right thing to do to stand up for Daunte Wright, to speak up for Daunte Wright, and to fight for Daunte Wright."
Crump is also due to deliver remarks at the funeral later this afternoon.
More to follow…
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