Fact Check: Was Daunte Wright's Arrest Warrant Sent to the Wrong Address?

Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on April 11.

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, who has since resigned, said officers had pulled Wright over for a traffic violation related to expired registration tags. Officers then learned he had an outstanding warrant, Gannon said.

Body camera footage of the shooting showed an officer yelling "Taser" repeatedly, then firing a gun at Wright. His car traveled several blocks before hitting another vehicle, police said, and he died at the scene.

Kim Potter, the officer who shot Wright, resigned on Tuesday. Nevertheless, unrest continued for a third night in the Twin Cities region, where tensions were already high due to the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in the death of George Floyd.

The Claim

In a TikTok video that was also shared to Twitter this week, actor and comedian Walter Masterson claimed he knew the "tragic" reason why there was a warrant for Wright's arrest.

In the video, Masterson visits the Minnesota Judicial Branch's website and accesses its public court records. He enters a case number—27-CR-19-29850—and looks up documents for the case: "State of Minnesota vs Daunte Demetrious Wright."

Documents in that case show Wright was charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, a felony, in December 2019.

The most recent document available in the case is dated February 5, 2021, and is a piece of returned mail. The previous five documents were notices about hearings, which were being held remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Daunte Wright had a warrant out for his arrest because the notice for the Zoom hearing was sent to the wrong address," Masterson said. "Yep, you got it right. They sent the notice of hearing to the wrong address, and then they issued a warrant for his arrest, and now he's dead."

Masterson's video quickly went viral but appears to have since been removed from his TikTok and Twitter pages.

The Facts

No warrants were issued for Wright in the aggravated robbery case, according to court records.

The warrant was related to a separate case—27-CR-21-4400—in which Wright was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit and fleeing a peace officer.

A notice for a hearing in that case on April 2 was uploaded on March 4. No returned mail was listed in that case.

Court records show a judge signed a gross misdemeanor warrant for Wright's arrest on April 2 after he missed the 2.30 p.m. Zoom hearing.

Although other official records show Wright's middle name as Demetrius, Newsweek confirmed that "State of Minnesota vs Daunte Demetrious Wright" pertains to the same person, with the same date of birth and address.

The Ruling

False.

Masterson's claim that Wright's notice of a hearing was sent to the wrong address, and that it led to a warrant being issued for Wright's arrest, is not true.

While a piece of mail was returned in a case related to Wright, it was an entirely different one than the one that prompted the arrest warrant.

Daunte Wright protest
A demonstrator holds a photo of Daunte Wright and shouts "Don't shoot" at police after curfew as they protest the death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 13, 2021. Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images