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The 20-year-old black man who was fatally shot by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop in April was allegedly involved in an armed carjacking and violent assault three weeks before he was killed, according to a new lawsuit.
Daunte Wright — who was killed when Officer Kim Potter mistook her gun for a Taser — and an accomplice allegedly jumped 20-year-old Joshua Hodges on March 21 while he was sitting in his car in north Minneapolis, the court papers state.
The other man shot Hodges in his left leg, after which Wright allegedly struck him and stole his wallet and cellphone — leaving him with “face, mouth, and teeth injuries,” the lawsuit claims.
The bullet “hit an artery,” caused “massive bleeding” and fractured Hodges’ fibula, the suit states.
Wright then allegedly drove away in the victim’s Honda Civic, while his accomplice fled in another vehicle.
“The sad reality is that Daunte Wright was an arch criminal, and anyone who says otherwise is not being honest,” Hodges’ lawyer, Mike Padden, told The Post. “It is probable that the full extent of Wright’s criminal history will never be fully known.”
Hodges — who said he recognized Wright during the carjacking because they went to middle school together — is now suffering from pain and permanent injuries, according to the court papers.
The lawsuit also appears to address how Wright’s death at the hands of a police officer has become a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter activists — calling into question whether he’s a good poster boy for the movement.
“This was classic ‘black on black crime,’” the lawsuit says. “As noted herein, [Wright] had a penchant for not only victimizing people of color, but also, people he knew and who knew him who could therefore identify him to authorities.”
The court papers continue, “After [his] accidental death, a false narrative began establishing [Wright] as a young person that young people looked up to when in fact a warrant was in place for his violations of law on bond for a past crime. [He] had previously chosen a life of crime.”
Wright had not been charged with carjacking and the attack is still under investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department. Authorities have not said if Wright was a suspect, according to KARE 11.
The lawsuit, meanwhile, is seeking at least $50,000 from Wright’s estate for “severe emotional distress and mental anguish.”
“Someone needs to answer for this,” Padden told the local station.
However, lawyers representing Wright’s family called the lawsuit a bogus attempt at “character assassination.”
“The audacity of this attorney is disappointing, and we implore members of the community to not be drawn in by these opportunistic efforts to tear down Daunte and hurt his family,” attorneys Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci and Jeff Storms said in a statement.
“Ploys like these aim to do one thing: distract. But our team will not be distracted in our fight for justice in this case and in our fight for justice for all marginalized communities.”
Last month, Wright was accused in a separate lawsuit of shooting Caleb Livingston, leaving him brain-damaged — in a case that Padden also filed.
The manslaughter case against Potter, a Brooklyn Center police officer, is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 6.
Wright’s family also stands to receive a settlement from the city.
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