Just before Daunte Wright was shot during a traffic stop in Minneapolis, he had called his mother to tell her he was being pulled over for having an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror.

Police say that he was originally pulled over for an expired tag and when they ran his license plate discovered a misdemeanor warrant.

Tragically, one of the officers pulled out a gun instead of a taser and shot Wright as he attempted to jump back in his car.



Minnesota is one of at least several states with laws that prohibit hanging items from a vehicle’s rearview mirror or affixing them to the windshield on the grounds that they could obstruct the driver’s vision.

But many people have argued that the air freshener is just an ‘excuse’ for racially motivated stops by police.

“We have concerns that police appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do too often to target Black people,” the ACLU of Minnesota said Sunday. It called for an independent investigation into the shooting.