Officer in Wright shooting to be charged with second-degree manslaughter
The police officer who fired on Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center on Sunday, killing the 20-year-old, will reportedly be charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput confirmed the charge against former officer Kim Potter, who resigned a day earlier, to The New York Times in an emailed statement Wednesday.
The news follows days of demonstrations in the city as well as the resignation of Thomas Gannon, Brooklyn Center’s former police chief.
If convicted, Potter will face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 under state law. She was arrested Wednesday morning, local time, and detained her at the Hennepin County Jail, according to a statement from the state’s Department of Public Safety.
— Omar Villafranca (@OmarVillafranca) April 14, 2021
Her charge comes amid the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis Police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd. Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest last year.
Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police force, resigned Tuesday after the department’s now-former chief, Gannon, told reporters at a news conference that she mistakenly believed she had drawn her stun gun when she opened fire on Wright.
Police have said that Wright was pulled over due to an expired registration and claims that he had an object hanging from his rearview mirror.
Potter’s body camera footage released on Monday showed her assisting another officer as they attempt to arrest Wright for an outstanding warrant. Before Wright jumps back into his car, Potter appears to shout “tase him” before pulling out her gun and pointing it at him.
After Wright drives away, the officer can be heard saying “I just shot him.”
The killing has led to calls from leaders and activists for change in policing.
Former President Obama called on the U.S. to “reimagine policing and public safety” after the incident.
Updated 1:35 p.m.