Fact Check: Daunte Wright Was NOT 'Wanted' For Aggravated Robbery, Was NOT 'On The Run Ever Since'

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Daunte Wright Was NOT 'Wanted' For Aggravated Robbery, Was NOT 'On The Run Ever Since' Set For Trial

Was Daunte Wright "wanted" for aggravated robbery and "on the run ever since"? No, that's not true: Wright had been charged with such a crime, but at the time of his death, April 11, 2021, there was no active warrant on that case. Wright had appeared in court as recently as January 25, 2021, and a jury trial was set to begin August 2, 2021, according to court documents and a spokesman for the city of Minneapolis.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) posted to Facebook by Charlie Kirk on April 13, 2021. The post, which was titled "What The Media Isn't Telling You About Daunte Wright!" featured a short video clip of Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA, a conservative student political action group, talking about Wright. Kirk said:

He was wanted for aggravated robbery back in February, February 11th actually, and he's been on the run ever since.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on April 14, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Apr 14 21:25:34 2021 UTC)

According to court documents, Wright was charged with aggravated robbery, a felony, in December 2019. He was accused of trying to steal $820 from a woman at gunpoint. A warrant was issued and he was apparently taken into custody because a document, dated December 16, 2019, showed that Wright was released and ordered to appear in court the following month.

Details on the case, number 27-CR-19-29850, can be seen by searching here.

In July 2020, the Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation filed a conditional release violation report, accusing Wright of violating the following conditions: failure to not possess a firearm and failure to maintain contact with probation. Again, he was apparently taken into custody because a document, dated September 9, 2020, showed that he was released and, again, ordered to appear in court.

A remote hearing was scheduled for January 25, 2021. It was not immediately clear whether Wright attended, so we asked Casper Hill, media relations coordinator for Minneapolis. In an email to Lead Stories, dated April 14, 2021, he wrote about Wright:

There was no active warrant on the felony case. He had appeared in court Jan. 25, 2021 and the case was set for a jury trial Aug. 2, 2021. He appeared by Zoom at that appearance in January, according to the court records.

Hill added:

It does appear that the court mailed a notice to him on Feb. 2, 2021 about his upcoming trial date, and that notice was marked return mail.

In other words, Wright was not "wanted" for aggravated robbery, as Kirk claimed. Although the case remained open at the time of Wright's death, there was no outstanding warrant related to it.

There was, however, a bench warrant related to a gross misdemeanor weapons charge, stemming from a separate case. Lead Stories has covered that case before. See our story here.

Police say they stopped Wright because of expired tags and then found out an arrest warrant had been issued for Wright on April 2, 2021, for failing to appear at a hearing in a case about carrying a pistol without a permit and fleeing a peace officer.

Details on that case, number 27-CR-21-4400, can be seen by searching here, and a copy of the warrant can be seen here.

Wright, 20, was fatally shot by an officer during an April 11, 2021, traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. The officers did not know Wright had an outstanding warrant when they pulled him over. Officials have said Kimberly Potter, the Brooklyn Center police officer who shot Wright, seemingly mistook her gun for a Taser. She was charged with second-degree manslaughter on April 14, 2021.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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