Officer Who Fatally Shot Black Motorist Arrested, Will Be Charged With Manslaughter

Ex-Police officer Kim Potter's house is blocked by security barricades in Champlin, Minnesota on April 14, 2021. - The police officer who shot dead 20-year-old Black man Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb after ap... Ex-Police officer Kim Potter's house is blocked by security barricades in Champlin, Minnesota on April 14, 2021. - The police officer who shot dead 20-year-old Black man Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb after appearing to mistake her gun for her Taser was arrested and will face manslaughter charges, officials said. "Agents took Kim Potter into custody at approximately 11:30 am," the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a statement, adding that second-degree manslaughter charges would be filed later in the day. (Photo by Kerem YUCEL / AFP) (Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 14, 2021 3:04 p.m.

The officer that fatally shot a black motorist in a Minneapolis suburb over the weekend will face a second-degree manslaughter charge, state authorities announced Wednesday. 

Kim Potter, who spent 26 years on the Brooklyn Center police force and was its union President, shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist, in the chest after shouting “Taser! Taser! Taser!” during a traffic stop. Wright died at the scene. 

Potter and the suburb’s police chief, Tim Gannon, both resigned after the shooting. Gannon said that body camera footage from the incident appeared to show that the fatal shooting was an “accidental discharge.” 

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state agency investigating the shooting, announced Potter’s arrest on a 2nd degree manslaughter charge midday Wednesday. 

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Potter was booked into the Hennepin County Jail just after noon, jail records show. The Washington County Attorney’s Office will file charges in the case later on Wednesday, the BCA said.

During a press briefing Tuesday, informed of Potter’s resignation from the police force, Wright’s aunt Naisha Wright asserted that authorities should “put her in jail, like they would do any one of us.” 

“They would put us under that jail cell!” Naisha Wright said. “It wouldn’t be no accident. It’d be murder.”

The civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who’s representing Wright’s family, asserted in a statement quoted by several outlets that the shooting was “no accident.” 

“While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back. This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force,” Crump said. 

“Driving while Black continues to result in a death sentence. A 26-year veteran of the force knows the difference between a taser and a firearm.”

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