BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (ABC4) – A former Minnesota officer will be charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a Black driver earlier this week.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office is expected to charge former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright.
Potter and Police Chief Tim Gannon resigned Tuesday, two days after Potter shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Her body camera footage shows her yelling “Taser!” multiple times during the traffic stop, but Potter fired her service weapon instead.
Gannon, following the incident and the protests that ensued, said he believed Potter mistakenly grabbed her pistol when she was trying to pull out her Taser. Protesters and Wright’s family members say the shooting shows how the justice system is tilted against Black people, noting Wright was stopped for an expired car registration and ended up dead.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said the city had been moving toward firing Potter, a 26-year veteran, when she resigned. Elliott said he hoped her resignation would “bring some calm to the community,” but that he would keep working toward “full accountability under the law.”
Potter, 48, was an instructor with the Brooklyn Center police, according to the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. She was training two other officers Sunday when they stopped Wright, the association’s leader, Bill Peters, told the Star Tribune.
Ben Crump, the Wright family’s attorney, spoke outside the Minneapolis courthouse where fired police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial in Floyd’s death. Crump compared Wright’s death to that of Floyd, who was pinned down by police when they tried to arrest him for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 at a neighborhood market last May.
Daunte Wright “was not a threat to them,” Crump said. “Was it the best decision? No. But young people don’t always make the best decisions. As his mother said, he was scared.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.