Minnesota Police Officer Kimberly Potter Charged with Manslaughter for Shooting Daunte Wright
Apr 16 2021
A white former police officer faces her first court appearance over the fatal shooting of a black motorist in a suburb of Minneapolis, igniting four straight days of bitter conflict between protesters and officers.
Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer who shot Daunte Wright, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, according to Minnesota authorities.
Many protesters and Wright's family members have rejected that, saying either that they don't believe it or that the incident reflects bias in policing, with Wright stopped for an expired vehicle registration and ending up dead.
The killing of Mr Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday has happened at the same time another police officer, Derek Chauvin, is on trial for murder over the killing of George Floyd a year ago. She was released from jail after posting $100,000 bond.
A white former police officer has been charged with manslaughter for the fatal shooting of a Black man in the USA state of Minnesota.
Potter's behavior after the shooting, where she said, "Oh s--", could indicate she did not intend to kill Wright, Burke added.
Intent is not a necessary component of second-degree manslaughter in Minnesota. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Potter, who resigned on Tuesday, had served with the Brooklyn Center police force for 26 years.
"If the officer was Black, perhaps even a minority man, and the victim was a young, white female affluent kid, the chief would have fired him immediately and the county prosecutor would have charged him with murder, without a doubt", said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
According to court records, Wright was being sought after failing to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June. In body camera footage, Wright can be seen pulling his hands free and ducking back into the auto; Potter yells, "I'll tase you!"
Potter is heard yelling "Taser!" three times before she fires and then says, "Holy shit, I shot him".
"I said, "If you grow up, you can be whatever you want to be", Mr Mason said.
Attorneys Benjamin Crump, Jeff Storms and Antonio Romanucci, who are representing the Wright family, in a statement Wednesday claimed that the shooting "was no accident".
"Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanor warrant", he said.
Potter is at least the third USA law enforcement officer to face charges after claiming they mistakenly killed someone with a gun when they meant to use a Taser.
Daunte Wright with his 2-year-old son.
The mayor of Brooklyn Center, Mike Elliott, has called on Gov. Tim Walz to reassign the case to the state attorney general's office, as he did in 2020 with the officers involved in Floyd's death.
Mayor Elliott's call to action came ahead of a third night of protests following Wright's fatal shooting.
Groups of demonstrators, however, persisted in taunting sheriff's deputies lined up behind a chain-link fence in front of the building, throwing objects over the barrier.
City Police Chief Jim Gannon, who also resigned on Tuesday, has said the shooting appeared to have been accidental. Protesters near the fence formed a wall with umbrellas. After Floyd's death past year, protesters demonstrated several times at the home of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer now on trial in Floyd's death.
Curfews were in place for Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Crystal, Columbia Heights, New Hope and Maple Grove from 10pm local time, KSTP reports.
Outside Potter's home in Champlin, north of Brooklyn Center, concrete barricades and tall metal fencing had been set up and police cars were in the driveway.
However, Elliott has acknowledged that the police force has "very few people of color".