WACO, TX- The outrage surrounding the shooting and killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright has drawn a world of emotions from demonstrators in Minnesota and across the country.
Many protestors, before Sunday, were already tuning in to the Dereck Chauvin case related to the killing of George Floyd just minutes away in Minneapolis.
“It was an absolutely tragic thing that happened on all forefronts of it. There’s no and ifs or buts about that,” said Officer Bynum with the Waco Police Department.
Bynum has been watching the story unfold and says the key to preventing deadly shootings like that in Waco lies in providing thorough training to all officers.
In the killing of Daunte Wright, the 26 year veteran-officer Kim Potter alleges the shooting was a mistake, that she meant to use her taser.
That scenario is one Waco PD says their officers spend hours of training working to avoid.
“We’re already doing drills that transition from our taser to our actual fire arms or the training fire arm,” said Bynum.
He tells FOX 44 their officers are instructed to attempt to de-escalate a situation first and carefully assess what amount of force should be used.
“We do drills where its shoot or no shoot, or maybe they can de-escalate it down to no use of force needed at all,” he added.
Officers are expected to have full awareness of where their weapons are and how to distinctly tell them apart according to Bynum.
“We require them to carry their taser on the opposite side of their firearm. We also only specifically use the bright yellow tasers,” he said.
Bynum says the department’s success in avoiding issues like ones in Minnesota lie in building trust and strong relationships within the community.
“If the community doesn’t trust us, there’s a chance that we’re not going to be able to deescalate a situation to the extent that we would be able to if we had that trust.”