Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter is now facing a more serious charge for shooting and killing 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
According to The Washington Post, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Potter “committed first-degree manslaughter by recklessly handling a firearm.”
Potter shot and killed Wright during a traffic stop. She alleges she meant to grab and use her Taser but instead she grabbed her gun, shooting Wright in the chest.
After the shooting, the former police chief Tim Gannon said he thought the shooting was an accident. “As I watched the video and listened to the officer’s command, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said. “This appears to me, from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
Gannon also defended Potter, saying she deserved due process despite the mayor publicly saying she should be fired. Following backlash, Gannon resigned along with Potter.
The shooting happened in Minnesota, about 13 miles from where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. It took place in April, when the city and nation were already on edge during Chauvin’s trial. Potter was later arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter.
The new first-degree manslaughter charge falls below the expectations of the victim’s family as they called for a more serious first-degree murder charge. “Prosecute them like they would prosecute us,” Wright’s aunt Nyesha Wright said. “We want the highest justice.”
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