Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) announced on September 2, 2021, that an additional charge of first-degree manslaughter had been added to the state’s case against Kimberly Potter, a former Brooklyn Center cop who fatally shot a Black motorist during a traffic stop earlier in the year.
Potter had already been charged with second-degree manslaughter after the incident, which occurred on April 11, 2021, as 20-year-old Daunte Wright was attempting to flee Potter and two other Brooklyn Center Police Department (BCPD) officers who had stopped his vehicle.
The 48-year-old Potter warned Wright that she was about to deploy her Taser on him. Instead, she pulled her service revolver and fired, striking him. He took off in his vehicle and crashed nearby. On police body camera footage, Potter can be heard exclaiming, “Holy shit, I just shot him!” Wright later died from his wounds, and Potter was arrested for killing him. She also resigned from BCPD.
Her boss at the time, BCPD Chief Tim Gannon, said that Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, had killed Wright with an “accidental discharge” of her gun. Gannon explained that he believed Potter mistook the revolver for her Taser and failed to realize her mistake until she heard the gunshot. He has since resigned from BCPD, too.
The upgraded charges against Potter point to two Taser training courses she completed on November 5, 2020, and March 2, 2021. In both, she was warned that mistaking the device for a revolver could have drastic and fatal consequences. Potter signed acknowledgments that she had received and understood that warning after each training session.
When he took over the case against her in May 2021, Ellison—whose office also successfully prosecuted Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for the May 25, 2020, in-custody murder of George Floyd—called Wright’s death “a tragedy.”
“He should not have died on the day that he did. He should not have died the way that he did. His parents, brothers, sisters, and friends must now live the rest of their lives without him. His son, only two years old, will grow up without his father. I have privately expressed my condolences and sorrow to the family and expect to work with them closely throughout the proceedings,” the Attorney General said.
Source: Law & Crime
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