Higher charge added against ex-officer in Daunte Wright death

Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter is now facing a charge of first-degree manslaughter


By Paul Walsh
Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — A count of first-degree manslaughter has been added against Kimberly Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop last spring.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced the charge in a news release Thursday afternoon and said the amended complaint against Potter alleges she committed first-degree manslaughter "by recklessly handling a firearm" when she shot Wright. He declined to comment further on the additional count in connection with the death of Wright, 20, on April 11. The original second-degree manslaughter charge remains.

This file booking photo provided by the Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff shows Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer.
This file booking photo provided by the Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff shows Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer. (Hennepin County Sheriff via AP, File)

Potter's attorneys said in a motion filed last month that Ellison's office had suggested that more or different charges may be coming. Attorney Paul Engh said that until the defense knew the entirety of the charges Potter faced, it wouldn't know whom to call for expert testimony.

A message was left with Engh late Thursday afternoon seeking his response to the additional count.

Potter fatally shot Wright during a traffic stop in the final days of the heavily publicized and livestreamed trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

Like Chauvin, Potter will be tried in the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis.

Police said Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, mistook her gun for her Taser when she shot Wright as he attempted to get back into his vehicle during an arrest. The shooting led to days of turbulent protests during the Chauvin trial.

Potter was arrested in April and freed after posting a $100,000 bond. Her trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 30.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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