The former Minnesota police officer who was filmed shooting Daunte Wright during a traffic stop will face charges for Wright’s death, authorities said on 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 District Attorney Pete Orput has announced. , according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, which characterized the mode of death as homicide.
Potter and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon handed over their badges on Tuesday following Wright’s death, just 14 miles north of where George Floyd was killed last year .
The day before his resignation, Gannon told reporters he believed the officer intended to draw a Taser but “pulled out his handgun instead of his Taser.” A short body camera video clip released on Monday showed Wright trying to get back into his car as a female voice could be heard screaming, “Taser!”
The same female voice could be heard later saying, “Holy s — I just shot him” as the car drove away, police said.
His mother, Katie Wright, said she could hear officers telling her son to get out of the car when he called her during the stop.
“Daunte asks, ‘For what?’ The policeman said, “I will explain to you when you get out of the car.” He said, “Am I in trouble?” He said, “We will explain all of this to you when you get out of the car,” ”he said Katie Wright.
The phone hung up, but minutes later she reconnected on a video call and her son’s passenger picked up, telling her that Wright had been shot.
“She pointed the phone at the driver’s seat and my son was lying there without answering,” said Katie Wright. “It was the last time I saw my son. It was the last time I heard from my son, and I haven’t had any explanation since.
Wright’s death at the hands of a white cop has raised already high tensions for Minnesotans as former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin stands on trial for the murder of Floyd, whose death has sparked nationwide protests against systemic racism and renewed calls to end police brutality last summer. .
Minnesota has been the national focal point for several notable police shootings in recent years.
In April 2019, former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was convicted of third degree murder and second degree manslaughter for the murder of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual white citizen of the United States and the United States. Australia.
Damond called police on July 15, 2017 to report what she believed to be a sexual assault in her neighborhood. When she came out to greet the police, Noor said he mistook her for a “threat” and fired a fatal shot.
He was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison.
In June 2017, a jury acquitted the Saint-Antoine policeman, Jeronimo Yanez, for having shot to death an employee of the black school cafeteria Philando Castile during a traffic stop a year earlier.
The incident gained national attention because the murderous encounter was webcast live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend and passenger, Diamond Reynolds. She said Castile had been shot several times as he searched for his ID after telling Yanez he had a firearms license and was armed.
And earlier, two white Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 24-year-old black man Jamar Clark were not charged in connection with the fall 2015 encounter.
Police said Clark was suspected of assaulting his girlfriend and then interfered with paramedics treating her. Officers insisted Clark was looking for their weapons during a fight, while critics of the decision not to press charges said the man was unarmed and did not need to be shot.
David K. Li contributed.