The U.S. police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, was arrested Wednesday and will be charged with second degree manslaughter.
The indictment against Kimberly Potter, 48, who has 26 years of experience in the company, came a day after she and the town’s police department chief Tim Gannon resigned.
Prosecutor’s office Pete Orput, responsible for the case, said it is expected to formalize the charge against her later Wednesday. If found guilty, she faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of $ 20,000.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state agency investigating police murders in Minnesota, said Potter was arrested and taken into custody this morning and will be charged in the county jail by Hennepin.
“While we recognize that the prosecutor is seeking justice for Daunte, no conviction can return the loved one to the Wright family. It was no accident. It was intentional, willful and unlawful use of force,” said attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents the victim’s family.
Potter’s attorney, Earl Gray, has yet to speak.
Wright’s death on Sunday added to tension in Minnesota, which had previously recorded protests related to the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd, whose verdict is due next week.
Hundreds of people took to the streets for three consecutive days, ignoring the governor’s curfew. Wright was even killed within 12 miles of where Floyd was murdered last year. When the case became public, she spoke of historical and recent wounds related to structural racism and police violence in the United States.
Wright, arrested by officers for traffic violation – police said the vehicle’s license plate was uneven and there was a deodorant hanging from the rearview mirror, which the law of l ‘Forbidden State -, was shot with a firearm, which police said was incorrect for a taser (stun gun).
On the approach, when checking Wright’s documents, police found that an arrest warrant was pending following a hearing he did not attend. According to records, the victim was responsible for illegally possessing a gun and fleeing from police in another approach last year. Officers then gave Wright an arresting voice and, according to camera footage attached to the uniforms, attempted to handcuff him outside the vehicle.
The video then indicates that there was resistance from Wright, who gets into the car.
A female voice is heard shouting “taser, taser”, and, according to the police department, Potter was confused and, instead of firing the stun gun, fired a weapon with lethal ammunition at Wright. “Holy shit, I shot him,” she said on the tape.
According to reports and witness reports, he still managed to drive for a few blocks until he crashed into the car, unconscious. Officers attempted to revive him, but Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.
Katie Wright, his mother, told reporters she received a call from her son saying he had been arrested by police because of the air freshener hanging in the rearview mirror. She also claims to have heard officers over the phone asking her son to get out of the car.
“I heard the policeman come to the window and say ‘hang up the phone and get out of the car’. Then I heard an argument and the police said ‘Daunte, don’t run’, ”she said, crying. The call ended and when he was able to dial again, Wright’s girlfriend answered the phone, who told Katie that her son was dead in the driver’s seat.
The police department did not give details of the arrest warrant for Wright, but court records show the document was released earlier this month when he did not attend a hearing. Wright was responsible for two misdemeanors: one for illegal possession of a firearm and the other for fleeing officers during an approach in June last year.
Taser have different grips and are lighter than firearms. In many cases, they’re produced in bright colors, usually yellow, but they can also be black – like those used by the Brooklyn Center Police.
The city police department’s conduct manual instructs officers to store tasers and firearms on different sides of the holster. The rule is that the gun is on the dominant side of the policeman and the taser on the opposite side. So a right handed officer, for example, has his gun on the right side of his body and taser it on the left side, so he would need to fold his arm to wield the stun gun.
Last month, U.S. lawmakers passed a bill that bans controversial police tactics and makes it easier to prosecute officers who violate the constitutional rights of suspects. The text has yet to be approved by the Senate.
The George Floyd Police Justice Act includes measures such as prohibiting strangulation during police action, ending warrants allowing officers to enter premises without notice – such as the action that has killed Breonna Taylor – and the creation of a national police misconduct registry.
In one of its most controversial provisions, the bill provides for the end of “qualified immunity”, a kind of illegitimate exclusion which, in practice, prevents the police from being held criminally responsible for possible excessive use of force and violations of constitutional rights.
The law also determines the requirement for cameras capable of recording the actions of officers, both affixed to officers’ uniforms and those placed on vehicle panels – as in the case of Daniel Prude – and creates new models. community policing, in particular for minority neighborhoods. populations.