Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright Charged With First-degree Manslaughter

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Kim Potter, the former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April, has been hit with another charge — first-degree manslaughter.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison alleged that Potter “committed first-degree manslaughter by recklessly handling a firearm” during the April 11. incident.

In April, Jill Oliveira, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, released a statement announcing that the 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department will be charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with Wright’s death.

Police pulled Wright was pulled over for expired tags but discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest for having a firearm without a permit. He was not armed at the time.

In the body camera footage, Potter can be heard yelling, “I’ll Tase you. Taser! Taser! Taser!” while holding a pistol. Wright returns to his vehicle and attempts to drive away when the officer shot him. He crashed into another vehicle after driving several blocks.

Potter claims she thought she had reached for her Taser and not her firearm.

“After conducting that review — which included consulting with an expert in police use of force — Attorney General Ellison confirmed that the original second-degree manslaughter charge is appropriate, but also concluded that an upgraded charge of first-degree manslaughter is warranted,” Ellison’s office said in a statement.

The maximum sentence for first-degree manslaughter is 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. The maximum punishment for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and a $20,000 fine.

Potter heads to trial Nov. 30.

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