Kim Potter, the former Minnesota police officer who was captured on camera fatally shooting Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, will face charges in the young man’s death, authorities said Wednesday.
Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, will be charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with Wright’s death, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced.Wright, who is Black, died of a gunshot wound to the chest, according the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, which classified the manner of death as a homicide.
Potter and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon turned in their badges Tuesday in the wake of Wright’s death, which occurred just 14 miles north of where George Floyd was killed last year.
The day before he resigned, Gannon told reporters that he believed the officer meant to draw a Taser but “drew their handgun instead of their Taser.” A short clip of body-camera video released Monday showed Wright trying to get back in his car as a female voice could be heard shouting, “Taser!”
The same female voice could later be heard saying, “Holy s— I just shot him,” as the car pulled away, police said.
His mother, Katie Wright, said she could hear officers telling her son to exit the car when he called her during the stop.
“Daunte asks, ‘For what?’ The police officer said, ‘I’ll explain to you when you get out of the car.’ He said, ‘Am I in trouble?’ He said, ‘We’ll explain all of that when you step out of the car,'” Katie Wright said.
The phone hung up, but minutes later she reconnected in a video call, and her son’s passenger picked up, telling her that Wright had been shot.
“She pointed the phone toward the driver’s seat, and my son was laying there unresponsive,” Katie Wright said. “That was the last time that I have seen my son. That was the last time I’ve heard from my son, and I have had no explanation since then.”
Wright’s death at the hands of a white police officer raised the already high tensions for Minnesotans as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the killing of Floyd, whose death sparked nationwide protests against systemic racism and renewed calls to end police brutality last summer.
She should’ve been charged with straight-up murder.