Kimberly Potter charged: Brooklyn Center police officer arrested & booked with w/ 2nd degree manslaughter, faces 10 years jail in shooting death of Daunte Wright.
Kimberly Ann Potter, the former Minnesota police officer who fatally shot 20 year old black man, Daunte Wright after mistakenly drawing her gun instead of her Taser, was arrested Wednesday. The Brooklyn Center cop is scheduled to be charged with second-degree manslaughter according to state prosecutors.
‘Agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) this morning arrested a former Brooklyn Center police officer for the April 11 shooting death of Daunte Wright,’ the state agency said on Twitter.
‘Agents took Kim Potter into custody at approximately 11:30 a.m. at the BCA in St. Paul.’
Online records for Hennepin County jail showed Potter was being held without bail.
If found guilty, Potter faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, according to Minnesota law.
These are the just-released mugshots of former police officer Kim Potter, who fatally shot Daunte Wright. She’s being charged with 2nd degree manslaughter. pic.twitter.com/5Pedh86Wuo
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 14, 2021
Intent isn’t a necessary component of second-degree manslaughter in Minnesota. The charge can be applied in circumstances where a person is suspected of causing a death by ‘culpable negligence’ that creates an unreasonable risk and consciously takes chances to cause the death of a person.
Wright’s family has called for Potter to be held accountable and said they could not accept police’s account of the incident as ‘an accident.’
Washington County Attorney Peter Orput, who is expected to prosecute the case locally, said earlier that details of the charges will be released later, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
What if Derrick Chauvin didnt asphyxiate George Floyd? Kim Potter didnt shoot Daunte Wright? They’d still be alive, of course. But George & Daunte would still have been subjected to normal, brutal systemic physical & emotional violence. Like tens of thousands nameless every day.
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) April 14, 2021
Of note, Potter’s lawyer, Earl Gray, is representing former Minneapolis cop Thomas Lane, one of the former officers charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Potter, a 26-year veteran and Police Chief Tim Gannon both resigned in the wake of the shooting. The city council also fired City Manager Curt Boganey over the incident.
Washington County was tapped to decide on charging instead of Hennepin County — where Brooklyn Center is located — to avoid a conflict of interest, officials said.
Community demands accountability for police action
Wright’s death also is under review by the BCA.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott on Tuesday said he would ask Gov. Tim Walz to turn the prosecution over to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Wright was pulled over around 2 p.m. Sunday for having a suspended registration, authorities said. Police said they determined he was sought on a misdemeanor arrest warrant and tried to arrest him.
But the young man broke away and got back in his car, where he was shot by Potter before speeding off and crashing farther down the road — where he was pronounced dead.
Police said the officer mistakenly grabbed her service weapon instead of her Taser and fired a single, fatal shot.
‘Holy s–t!’ she can be heard saying on bodycam video. ‘I just shot him.’
Kim Potter, the police officer who killed Daunte Wright was involved in the 2019 shooting of Kobe Heisler, an autistic man.
Potter instructed 2 officers involved “to exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras, & to not talk to each other”. pic.twitter.com/mkboAiQzMP
— Christopher 💉 J&J Survivor (@cwebbonline) April 14, 2021
Conflicted history of police service
Potter, who was training another officer at the time of her fatal mistake, was then placed on administrative leave.
The shooting comes with Wright having an open warrant related to an armed robbery case against him when he was shot dead.
He and another man had been charged with first-degree attempted aggravated robbery in December 2019 for allegedly trying to steal $820 from a woman at gunpoint, according to Hennepin County District Court documents cited by the dailymail.
In a statement Wednesday, Wright family attorney Ben Crump said the decision to charge Potter is ‘appreciated,’ but added that ‘no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back.’
‘This was no accident,’ the statement said. ‘This was an intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force.’
In 2014, Officer Kimberly Potter and other officers were awarded the Medal of Merit for their response in a house fire, according to KARE-TV.