The ex-police officer who lethally shot Daunte Wright has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, as said by Washington County Attorney Pete Orput on Wednesday.
Kim Potter resigned on Tuesday from the Brooklyn Center Police Department due to outrage over Wright’s death on a traffic stop. The incident was recorded on a body-worn camera, and it had led to days of protests and other unrest in a region already on edge in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Second-degree manslaughter is one of the counts Chauvin faced last year after video occurred showing him pinning George Floyd under his knee for nearly nine minutes. As per Minnesota law, a person condemned of the charge can face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Potter was booked into custody by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. She was taken into the Hennepin County Jail just after noon. She posted $100,000 bail and was released from custody soon after 5:30 p.m., as per sheriff’s records.
The action against Potter is comparatively unusual; deadly shootings by police seldom result in charges. Officers shoot and kill around 1,000 people a year, but most of these people are armed. The huge majority of the shootings are believed justified, and only a small percentage of officers face charges in such cases.
Though the shooting occurred in Hennepin County, the county attorney there sent the case to Orput’s office in Washington County as per the agreement to have prosecutors investigate police shootings outside their jurisdictions to evade the appearance of conflicts of interest.
Wright’s family members had expressed that they wanted Potter to face murder charges. “Prosecute them, like they would prosecute us,” Nyesha Wright, the victim’s aunt, mentioned at a Tuesday news conference. “We want the highest justice.”
Ben Crump, an attorney for Wright’s family, associated the shooting of the 20-year-old to an “execution” and showed disbelief that Potter, a 26-year veteran officer, could mistake a gun for a Taser; the stance shared by the city’s police chief describing what appears to have happened.
“While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back,” Crump mentioned in a statement on Wednesday. “This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate and unlawful use of force.”
“We will vigorously prosecute this case and intend to prove that Officer Potter abrogated her responsibility to protect the public when she used her firearm rather than her Taser. Her action caused the unlawful killing of Mr. Wright and she must be held accountable,” said Imran Ali, the Washington County assistant criminal division chief and director of the Major Crime Unit.