A Minnesota prosecutor said Wednesday that he will charge a white former suburban Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, igniting days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police.
Kim Potter will be charged with second-degree manslaughter, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The announcement came a day after Potter resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where she had served for 26 years. Police Chief Tim Gannon also resigned Tuesday.
Gannon had released Potter’s body camera video the day after the Sunday shooting. It showed her approaching Wright as he stood outside of his car as another officer was arresting him for an outstanding warrant. Police said he was pulled over for having expired registration tags.
As Wright struggles with police, Potter is hearing shouting “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing a single shot from her handgun.
Gannon has said he believed Potter mistakenly grabbed her gun when she was going for her Taser. However, protesters and Wright’s family members say there’s no excuse for the shooting and it shows how the justice system is tilted against Blacks, noting Wright was stopped for expired car registration and ended up dead.
The charging decision was announced as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin progresses. George Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck.