Judge Says Ex-Officer Charged In Daunte Wright Shooting Death Can Stand Trial

Kim Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and will stand trial beginning Dec. 6.

A Minneapolis judge ruled Monday (May 17) that a trial may proceed over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.

Kimberly A. Potter, a 26-year-veteran of the Brooklyn Center, Minn., police force, was charged with second-degree manslaughter for the April 11 fatal shooting of the 20-year-old. Hennepin County Judge Regina M. Chu said during a virtual hearing that  probable cause was found to support the charges against Potter, the Associated Press reports. A tentative trial date was subsequently set for December 6.

On April 14, Potter, who is white, was charged over the shooting, which happened during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota just three days prior. 

RELATED: Ex-Police Officer Charged in Daunte Wright Shooting Makes First Court Appearance

Potter, 48, resigned April 13 over the shooting and has remained free on bond. Brooklyn Center Police chief Tim Gannon also resigned the same day amid the backlash from the community over Wright’s death.

Wright was fatally wounded when he was pulled over for expired tags. In footage from Potter’s body camera video, officers began to place him in handcuffs, arresting him for alleged outstanding warrants. But after a short scuffle, Wright attempted to get in his vehicle, and Potter shouted “taser, taser,” then pulled her service weapon and fired. Wright drove several blocks before crashing. Officers attempted lifesaving maneuvers, but he died at the scene.

At a press conference a day before resigning, Gannon said Potter mistook her taser for her firearm and characterized it as an “accidental discharge.” The Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Wright’s death a homicide.

In the days following Wright’s death, Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, was rocked by days of protests. Significant changes were also prompted after the shooting as the City Council reorganized its power structure by firing the city manager and turning control of the police department over to the mayor’s office.
The shooting took place in the shadow of the trial of former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, who was convicted April 20 on all counts in the murder of George Floyd.

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