Minneosta AG’s office to prosecute case against officer charged in killing of Daunte Wright
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s (D) office plans to prosecute the case against the former Brooklyn Center police officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright, he announced Friday.
Ellison’s office said in a statement that it will supervise the prosecution, review of evidence and charges filed against former officer Kim Potter, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter in April after shooting Wright during a traffic stop.
Wright was pulled over for expired tags, but during the stop it was discovered that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Body camera footage showed that when two officers tried to put Wright in handcuffs, he attempted to get back into his car. An officer is then heard screaming “tase him” multiple times.
Former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, who resigned after the shooting, said it appeared that Potter meant to reach for her stun gun but accidentally grabbed her gun.
Potter also resigned from the police department two days after the shooting, marking the end to her 26-year career with the department. She is set to face trail in December.
“Prosecutors are ministers of justice. This means we must and will follow justice wherever it leads,” Ellison said in a statement. “I promise the Wright family and all Minnesotans that I will handle this prosecution responsibly and consistent with the law, and that I will be guided by the values of accountability and transparency.”
Wright’s killing, which came during the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd last year, sparked demonstrations in Brooklyn Center and other cities.
A jury convicted Chauvin in April of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.
The prosecution of Potter’s case will be led by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, who was the presenting attorney in Chauvin’s trial. Ellison plans to “actively assist” in the case.
Ellison’s office said the first step, which is reviewing the evidence and the charges against Potter, is already underway.