Kim Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright outside Minneapolis on Sunday, was arrested and charged by Washington County Pete Orput with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday.
Why it matters: The shooting of the 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minn., just ten miles from where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year, has reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.
Context: Second-degree manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, according to Minnesota law.
The big picture: Police said at a press conference the day after the shooting that Potter appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a Taser during a traffic stop.
- Both Potter and Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon submitted their resignations on Tuesday.
- A New York Times review of 15 so-called “weapon confusion” cases of police shooting people found that only five were indicted and three ultimately convicted.
Between the lines: Brooklyn Center, a suburb about 10 miles north of Minneapolis, is in Hennepin County, not Washington.
- Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office referred the case to Orput under a new policy meant to avoid conflict-of-interest issues given the close working relationship between prosecutors and local police.
What they’re 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. Driving while Black continues to result in a death sentence,” Ben Crump, attorney for the Wright family, said in a statement.
- “It’s past time for meaningful change in our country. We will keep fighting for justice for Daunte, for his family, and for all marginalized people of color. And we will not stop until there is meaningful policing and justice reform and until we reach our goal of true equality.”
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Torey Van Oot