Ex-Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter arrested in Daunte Wright’s death, will be charged today with 2nd-degree manslaughter

will be charged today with 2nd-degree manslaughter

Kim Potter, the Brooklyn Center police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, was arrested Wednesday morning and will soon be charged with second-degree manslaughter, officials say.

Potter, 48, was arrested about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents at the BCA in St. Paul. She will be booked into the Hennepin County Jail.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said she will be charged later today.

“This remains an active and ongoing investigation,” BCA officials said in a news release. “The BCA has been and will continue to work with the Washington County Attorney’s Office as the case progresses.”

Wright, 20, was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Center. Katie Wright said her son called her right before his death to say that police had pulled him over because he had an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. It is illegal to drive in Minnesota with objects that are “suspended between the driver and the windshield,” other than sun visors, rearview mirrors, safety monitoring equipment, GPS systems, toll-collection devices or “identifying devices.”

Daunte Wright, 20, was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Courtesy of Ben Crump Law)
Former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said during a press conference on Monday that officers initially pulled Wright over about 2 p.m. Sunday because the registration tags on his license plates were expired. He also said officers took note of the air freshener on Wright’s rearview mirror.

Officers decided to arrest Wright after learning there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest following an incident in which police suspect he fled from them after being reported waiving a gun. As he was being handcuffed, Wright, who was unarmed, freed himself from the grasp of police and got into the driver’s seat of his vehicle.

Potter, a field-training officer who on the scene in that capacity, attempted to deploy her Taser, but mistakenly grabbed her firearm, Gannon said.

Body camera video shows Potter yelling “I’ll tase you! I’ll tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” while pointing her department-issued handgun at Wright. She fires one shot in his chest before screaming, “Holy s–t! I shot him!”

Both Potter and Gannon resigned from their positions on Tuesday morning.

In her resignation letter sent to city officials on Tuesday, Potter, a 26-year veteran of the department, wrote she had “loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.”

Potter could not immediately be reached for comment. Her attorney, Earl Gray, said Wednesday morning that he was unable to talk at the moment.

The second-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. According to state statute, a person is guilty of second-degree manslaughter if they cause another person’s death by “culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another.”

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter posted his reaction to the second-degree manslaughter charge on Twitter. “Wright should still be alive today and there is no acceptable reason he’s gone,” he wrote. “This decision is only a start; our justice system must prove itself capable of asserting and protecting the value of black and brown lives.”

RELATED: Watch the police body camera video of Daunte Wright shooting

As of Wednesday morning, almost $600,000 had been raised.

More than 19,000 people have donated; donations have ranged from $5 to $5,000. Among the donors was Australian resident Janette Dalgliesh, who posted this note with her $20 gift: “Black Lives Matter. Sending love and support from Australia.”

“The road to justice is very long, and the Wright family will not let what happened to Daunte be forgotten,” according to the site. “The officer(s) who took his life must be held responsible.”

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