NATIONAL NEWS

Minnesota Cop Will Be Charged In Shooting Of Black Motorist

Apr 14, 2021, 6:27 AM | Updated: 11:13 am

Protesters confront law enforcement outside the Brooklyn Center police headquarters on April 13, 20...

Protesters confront law enforcement outside the Brooklyn Center police headquarters on April 13, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Demonstrations have become a daily occurrence since Daunte Wright, 20, was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter on Sunday. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — A prosecutor said Wednesday that he will charge a white former suburban Minneapolis police officer with second-degree manslaughter for killing 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright in a shooting that ignited days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police.

The charge against former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter will be filed Wednesday, three days after Wright was killed during a traffic stop and as the nearby murder trial progresses for the ex-officer charged with killing George Floyd last May, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said. Second-degree manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Potter was arrested Wednesday morning at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul. An attorney for Potter did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.

The former Brooklyn Center police chief has said that Potter, a 26-year veteran and training officer, had intended to use her Taser on Wright but fired her handgun instead. However, protesters and Wright’s family members say there’s no excuse for the shooting and it shows how the justice system is tilted against Blacks, noting Wright was stopped for expired car registration and ended up dead.

Potter, 48, resigned Tuesday, as did Police Chief Tim Gannon.

The Star Tribune reported that concrete barricades and tall metal fencing had been set up around Potter’s home in Champlin, a suburb north of Brooklyn Center, with police cars guarding the driveway. After Floyd’s death last year, protesters demonstrated several times at the home of the former Minneapolis officer charged with killing him, Derek Chauvin.

Police say Wright was pulled over for expired tags, but they sought to arrest him after discovering he had an outstanding warrant. The warrant was for his failure to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.

Gannon released Potter’s body camera video the day after Sunday’s shooting. It showed her approaching Wright as he stood outside of his car as another officer was arresting him.

As Wright struggles with police, Potter shouts, “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing a single shot from her handgun.

Wright family attorney Ben Crump said the family appreciates criminal case, but he again disputed that the shooting was accidental, arguing that an experienced officer knows the difference between a Taser and a handgun.

“Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanor warrant,” he said

Cases of officers mistakenly firing their gun instead of a Taser do happen, but experts say they are extremely rare, usually less than once a year nationwide.

Transit officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison after responding to a fight at a train station in Oakland, California, killing 22-year-old Oscar Grant in 2009. Mehserle testified at trial that he mistakenly pulled his .40-caliber handgun instead of his stun gun.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a white volunteer sheriff’s deputy, Robert Bates, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter after accidentally firing his handgun when he meant to deploy his stun gun on Eric Harris, a Black man who was being held down by other officers in 2015.

Potter was an instructor with the Brooklyn Center police, according to the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. She was training two other officers Sunday when they stopped Wright, the association’s leader, BIll Peters, told the Star Tribune.

In her one-paragraph letter of resignation, Potter said, “I have 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.”

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott had said he hoped Potter’s resignation would “bring some calm to the community,” but that he would keep working toward “full accountability under the law.”

“We have to make sure that justice is served, justice is done. Daunte Wright deserves that. His family deserves that,” Elliott said.

Police and protesters faced off again after nightfall Tuesday, with hundreds of demonstrators once more gathering at Brooklyn Center’s heavily guarded police headquarters, now ringed by concrete barriers and a tall metal fence, and where police in riot gear and National Guard soldiers stood watch.

About 90 minutes before a 10 p.m. curfew, state police announced over a loudspeaker that the gathering had been declared unlawful and ordered the crowds to disperse. That set off confrontations, with protesters launching fireworks toward the station and throwing objects at officers, who launched flashbangs and gas grenades, then marched in a line to force back the crowd.

State police said the dispersal order came before the curfew because protesters were trying to take down the fencing and throwing rocks at police. The number of protesters dropped rapidly over the next hour, until only a few remained. Police also ordered all media to leave.

Brooklyn Center, a suburb just north of Minneapolis, has seen its racial demographics shift dramatically in recent years. In 2000, more than 70% of the city was white. Today, a majority of residents are Black, Asian or Hispanic.

Elliott said Tuesday that he didn’t have at hand information on the police force’s racial diversity but that “we have very few people of color in our department.”

___

Bauer contributed from Madison, Wisconsin. Associated Press writers Doug Glass and Mohamed Ibrahim in Minneapolis; Tim Sullivan in Brooklyn Center; and Stephen Groves in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, contributed to this report.

___

Find AP’s full coverage of the death of Daunte Wright at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-daunte-wright

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Louisville emergency crews rescue the driver of semitruck that is dangling off the Clark Memorial B...

Associated Press

Truck driver pulled to safety after crash leaves vehicle dangling over bridge across Ohio River

The driver of a semi-truck was pulled to safety Friday by firefighters following a crash that left the vehicle dangling over a bridge across the Ohio River.

2 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks during a Get Out the Vot...

Mark Sherman

Supreme Court restores Trump to ballot, rejecting state attempts to ban him over Capitol attack

The Supreme Court has restored Donald Trump to 2024 presidential primary ballots, rejecting state attempts to hold the Republican former president accountable for the Capitol riot.

3 hours ago

FILE: A JetBlue Airlines plane takes off near Spirit Airlines planes at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywo...

Michelle Chapman, AP Business Writer

JetBlue, Spirit ending $3.8B deal to combine after court ruling blocked their merger

JetBlue and Spirit Airlines are ending their proposed $3.8 billion combination after a court ruling blocked their merger.

4 hours ago

An Interstate 80 entrance is covered in snow during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sie...

Brooke Hess and Christopher Weber

More mountain snow expected even as powerful blizzard moves out of Northern California

A powerful blizzard that closed highways and ski resorts had mostly moved through the Sierra Nevada but forecasters warn that more snow was on the way for Northern California mountains.

4 hours ago

Tia Champion and her husband Tim help Angie Hodges (L) search for items in the remains of her home ...

Valerie Gonzalez

Texas struggles to contain wildfires as wind threatens to further their spread

Strong winds spread flames and led to a town's evacuation while airplanes dropped fire retardant in an attempt to stop the largest wildfire in Texas history.

5 hours ago

Pedestrians cross the street at the intersection of Washington and 5th in Hoboken, N.J., Thursday, ...

Jeff McMurray, The Associated Press

A New Jersey city that limited street parking hasn’t had a traffic death in 7 years

Street parking was already scarce in Hoboken, New Jersey, when the death of an elderly pedestrian spurred city leaders to remove even more spaces in a bid to end traffic fatalities.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Minnesota Cop Will Be Charged In Shooting Of Black Motorist