Kim Potter Arrested in Wake of Daunte Wright’s shooting

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Tyler Dyer, Staff Writer

This Sunday Daunte Wright, a twenty-year-old black man, was pulled over at an intersection in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest, classifying the manner of death as a homicide. This occurred just 14 miles north of where George Floyd was killed last year.

Upon arrival, the police had found that there was a warrant against Wright citing two misdemeanors involving a weapons possession charge. They had been issued after he missed a court date. While the reasons for the stop are controversial, what is not in dispute is a clip of the body-camera video that was released Monday. It showed Wright trying to get back in his car as the female voice of Officer Kim Potter could be heard shouting, “Taser!” as Wright was struggling with an officer who tried to pull him from his car seat. However, she held a gun instead of a Taser firing a single shot into Daunte Wright’s chest. Police said that same voice could later be heard saying, “Holy s— I just shot him,” as the car pulled away. Wright drove off losing consciousness and crashed just a few blocks away dying at the scene. The woman in the passenger seat was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries in the hospital. Later, the police department reported that Potter drew her gun in error.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, was on the phone with him during this interaction and explained that she could hear officers telling her son to exit the car when he called her during the stop. “Daunte asks, ‘For what?’ The police officer said, ‘I’ll explain to you when you get out of the car.’ He said, ‘Am I in trouble?’ He said, ‘We’ll explain all of that when you step out of the car,'” Katie Wright said. The phone hung up, and just minutes later when reconnected in a video call with her son’s passenger, she was informed that her son had been shot.

Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing Wright’s family, said in a statement with co-counsel Jeff Storms and Antonio Romanucci “While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back,”

The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a brief statement that Officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, had been placed on “standard administrative leave.” The statement did not elaborate, citing an active investigation. Tim Gannon, Brooklyn Center Police Chief, and Potter turned in their badges Tuesday following Wright’s death. Officials stated that Officer Potter was taken into custody about 11:30 a.m. at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul. Washington County Attorney then announced that she will be charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with Wright’s death. If found guilty, Potter faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, according to Minnesota law.