Ex-Officer Who Fatally Shot Daunte Wright Charged With Manslaughter

Demonstrators protest the shooting death of Daunte Wright outside the Brooklyn Center police station on April 13. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota police officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright after appearing to mistake her handgun for her Taser was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday. The charge came after three nights of protest over the killing.

Potter was taken into custody at about 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul and was booked into the Hennepin County Jail. Potter was later released the same day on a $100,000 bond, according to NPR.

A conviction of second-degree manslaughter could result in a maximum 10-year sentence and a fine of up to $20,000.

Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, fatally shot Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday. Body-camera footage released after the shooting appears to show Potter shouting, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” — only to fire a single shot from her gun at Wright in his car.

She could be heard exclaiming, “Holy shit, I just shot him!”

Wright drove away, ultimately crashing his vehicle and later dying from his injuries after receiving aid from other officers.

At a subsequent press conference, Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon said it is believed that Potter’s shooting of Wright was unintentional and that she had meant to reach for her Taser rather than her gun.

Potter, 48, submitted her resignation on Tuesday along with Gannon.

Ben Crump, the attorney representing the Wright family, released a statement on Potter being charged, saying “While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back. This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate and unlawful use of force.”

The charge comes during the third week of the trial against Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer, over his role in the death of George Floyd, a Black man. Chauvin, who was filmed with his knee on Floyd’s neck during an attempted arrest, faces three charges, including second-degree manslaughter, like Potter.

During a joint press conference held with Wright and Floyd’s families on Tuesday, it was discovered there was another connection between the two men besides the circumstances of their deaths. Wright’s aunt Naisha Wright revealed that Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, was a former teacher of Daunte’s, per CBS News.

“The craziest thing is to find out today that my family has connections to this man, to this family. His girlfriend was a teacher for my nephew. My nephew was a lovable young man. His smile, oh Lord, the most beautiful smile. Y’all took that,” his aunt said.

Officer Who Killed Daunte Wright Charged With Manslaughter