Kimberly Potter, the former police officer who shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, will be charged with second-degree manslaughter. The Washington County Attorney’s Office announced the charges on Wednesday morning after the medical examiner ruled Wright’s killing a homicide.
Brooklyn Police pulled Daunte Wright over on Sunday afternoon for allegedly having expired tags. When police searched Wright’s information, they found outstanding warrants for a prior misdemeanor. Body cam footage shows Wright attempting to break away and jump back into his car.
Former officer Kimberly Potter, a 26 year veteran, pulled her gun from her holster, pointed it at Wright and fired one shot into his torso.
Manslaughter charge indicates negligence
Officer Potter claimed in the video she thought she was grabbing her taser, even though a taser is both a different color and weight than an handgun. Her former boss, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, classified the shooting as an accident shortly after watching the video.
Potter and Gannon both resigned on Tuesday.
In the state of Minnesota, second-degree manslaughter charges can be filed when someone’s death is the result of “culpable negligence”. If found guilty, the charge can carry a sentence of ten years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.
Demonstrations in Brooklyn Center continued for a third straight night on Tuesday, with protestors marching through a snowstorm to demand justice for Daunte Wright. Several protestors demonstrated by taking a knee on the cold, wet ground of nine minutes and thirty seconds; the amount of time Derek Chauvin’s knee pressed into George Floyd’s neck last Spring – just 15 miles from Brooklyn Center.