Former Minnesota Police Officer To Be Charged In Death Of Daunte Wright

A Minneapolis-area police officer will be charged on Wednesday after she shot and killed Daunte Wright, 20, last weekend during a traffic stop, prosecutors said. 

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said he plans to charge former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter with second-degree manslaughter. He is expected to release more information later Wednesday. The case was sent to the office to avoid a conflict of interest with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, which works closely with Brooklyn Center police on criminal cases, as first reported by KSTP-TV on Tuesday.

Potter fatally shot Wright on Sunday after pulling him over for a traffic violation. During a struggle captured on now-released body-cam video, she drew her service weapon and repeatedly yelled “Taser!” before shooting a single bullet in Wright’s chest. 

Potter offered her resignation in a letter to city officials on Tuesday, saying it was “in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.” She had worked for the department for 26 years.

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon also stepped down on Tuesday. He said at a news conference the previous day that he thought Potter accidentally shot Wright with her firearm when she meant to use her Taser.

On Monday, the Brooklyn Center City Council voted to fire City Manager Curt Boganey, who was in charge of police personnel, and put Mayor Mike Elliott in charge of the police department. Elliott said Tuesday that he had asked Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) to reassign Wright’s case to “ensure transparency and to continue building trust in our community.”

The police killing of Wright occurred while, several miles away in downtown Minneapolis, the trial continued for former police officer Derek Chauvin. He has been charged in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, a Black man.

Wright’s death has rekindled protests against racial injustice and police brutality that flared last summer after Floyd’s death.

Lydia O’Connor contributed to this report. 

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