Minnesota police officer who shot Daunte Wright charged with second-degree manslaughter
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Minnesota police officer who shot Daunte Wright charged with second-degree manslaughter

The Washington County, Minnesota Attorney’s Office Wednesday announced a second-degree manslaughter charge against Kimberly Potter, the white police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man.

The charges come after Potter, a veteran officer of 26 years, and Tim Gannon, the chief of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, both resigned from their posts on Tuesday.

Potter fatally shot Wright on Sunday, during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Brooklyn Center officials released Potter’s body camera footage from the shooting during a press conference on Monday. The video shows Potter yelling, “I’ll take you! Taser!,” while pointing her handgun at Wright. She then shot Wright in the chest. The officials described the shooting as a “deadly mistake,” saying Potter mistook her gun for her taser.

Under Minnesota law, the maximum sentence for manslaughter in the second degree is “imprisonment for not more than ten years or [] payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.” The sentence may apply to cases where someone creates an “unreasonable risk” and kills another person through “culpable negligence.”

“Certain occupations carry an immense responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer,” said Imran Ali, an assistant county attorney and director of the county’s major crime unit. “With that responsibility comes a great deal of discretion and accountability. We will vigorously prosecute this case and intend to prove that Officer Potter abrogated her responsibility to protect the public when she used her firearm rather than her taser.”

Though Brooklyn Center is located in Hennepin County, Washington County is handling the case. In 2020, the cities making up the Twin Cities region agreed to refer cases involving police use of deadly force to other jurisdictions “to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest in handling such cases.”

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrested Potter on Wednesday morning. She was held at the Hennepin County Jail but was released just a few hours later, after posting bond.