MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center police officer, has been charged with second-degree homicide for the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Washington county lawyer Pete Orput announced the charges on Wednesday, saying the 48-year-old Potter was detained by Minnesota criminal detainees and taken to Hennepin County Jail. He was only released a few hours later after he sent out the bond.
“Certain occupations have a huge responsibility and are nothing more than a sworn police officer,” said Imran Ali, assistant head of the Washington County Criminal Department and director of the Criminal Department. “This responsibility comes with a lot of discretion and accountability. We are firmly instituting proceedings in this matter and we want to prove that Officer Potter has abolished his responsibility to protect the public when he used his firearm, not his Taser. His actions caused the illegal murder of Mr. Wright and must be held accountable.
Ali said he met the family with Orput, expressed his deepest sympathy, and assured them that “they will not hire resources to seek justice for Mr. Wright”.
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Second-degree homicide is defined in Minnesota law as “when someone acts through negligence, causing an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm”. Rachel Moran, associate professor of law at St. Thomas University, further explains.
“It really means more than the accident of an average person,” Moran said.
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the Cright family, issued a statement after the decision on Potter’s charges.
“While we appreciate the district attorney following the truth alongside Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family back to their loved one. This was no accident. It was intentional, deliberate and illegal violence, ”Crump said. “Leadership while Black continues to result in a death sentence. The 26-year-old veteran of the force knows the difference between a taser and a firearm. Kim Potter executed Daunte, which is at most a minor traffic offense and misdemeanor order. Daunte’s life, like George Floyd’s life, like Eric Garner’s, like Breonna Taylor’s, like David Smith’s, meant something. However, Kim Potter considered it edible. It is time for substantial changes to take place in our country. We will continue to do justice for Daunte, his family and all marginalized colored people. And we will not stop until substantive law enforcement and judicial reform have taken place, and until we have achieved the goal of true equality. “
Officer Kim Potter is charged with Grade 2 homicide (the same charge was acquitted of Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting of Philando Castile). Minnesota law defines homicide as death due to “sinful negligence,” which poses an “unreasonable risk.” pic.twitter.com/KVnhBfjq0c
– Jason DeRusha (@DeRushaJ) April 14, 2021
Potter was the white white officer who shot and killed Wright, a black man, at a traffic stop on Sunday. A 26-year-old veteran at the Brooklyn Center Police Department. Police Chief Potter and Tim Gannon have since resigned.
Police released body camera footage of the incident on Monday. Gannon, who was still a police chief at the time, said he thought Potter wanted to deploy Taser during the fatal incident.
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“As I watched the video and listened to the officer’s orders, I was convinced that the officer intended to deploy his Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said. “It seems to me what I looked at, and immediately after the officer’s distressed reaction, it was an accidental discharge that resulted in Mr. Wright’s tragic death.
This indictment makes a great many comparisons to previous cases of deadly police shooting in Minnesota. With these comparisons, many community activists say Potter’s accusations are not enough. Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the American-Islamic Relations Council, compares it to the 2017 case in which former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was created in the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
“This officer who clearly pulled a gun, and even Taser, killed this young man, Daunte Wright.” This is clearly murder, ”Hussein said.
In addition to second-degree homicide, the young man was convicted of third-degree murder.
“That’s another difference for Officer Noor.” A black policeman is accused of murdering a white woman and convicted, ”Moran said.
But in 2017, the ex-St. Jeromino Yanez, an Anthony officer, was acquitted of second-rate homicide for the murder of Philando Castile, also during a traffic shutdown.
“Police officers who killed Colored People have been acquitted in Minnesota before. This cannot be denied and we need to talk about it, ”Hussein said.
The fees could still be upgraded.
“I think the charge of third-degree murder may be appropriate here, and that many would have expected,” Moran said.
DETAILS OF CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
Potter was charged in Hennepin County on Wednesday afternoon.
The complaint said the incident began at 1:53 p.m., Sunday, when Anthony Luckey, a Brooklyn Center police officer and on-site training officer, Potter, covered a white Buick on 63rd North and north of Orchard Avenue.
Officer Luckey verified the identity of the driver, who was later publicly identified as Daunte Wright, and found that he was charged with guilty weapons.
Luckey and Potter then asked Wright to get out of the vehicle and put his hand behind his back, which Wright did. Luckey then told Wright that he had been arrested for the outstanding order. Luckey and Wright were just standing in front of the open driver’s door, and Potter was behind Luckey and to his right.
Wright then pulled away from the officers and sat back in the driver’s seat of the car, and Luckey continued to maintain Wright’s physical control. Potter then said it would be Taser Wright, the complaint claimed, then pulled Glock’s 9mm gun with his right hand. As he pointed to Wright, he repeated that Wrighton was using the Taser, then shouted, “Taser, Taser, Taser,” before pulling the trigger on the pistol. A round stepped to Wright’s left.
Wright said, “Ah, he shot,” and then the vehicle spun a short distance before it collided with another vehicle and stopped, the complaint says. After releasing his weapon, Potter said, “S, I just shot him!” Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the schedule of events given in the complaint, six seconds elapsed between Potter when he said he had hit Taser Wright when he fired the only shot from his gun.
A Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Discipline investigated and reviewed Potter’s seat belt and saw that his weapon was on the right side of the belt and his Taserje was on his left side. The handles or handles of the Taser and handgun face the back of Potter, and the Taser has a yellow-black grip. The detective noted that the Taser was in a straight-out position, meaning he should have pulled the Taser out of the case with his left hand.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has since determined that Wright died in a gunshot wound and that his death was a homicide.
Earl Gray, Potter’s lawyer, said he had no comment when he reached him on the phone on Wednesday. Gray also represented Yanez in his lawsuit over Castilla’s death, and he will represent Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane in a lawsuit over George Floyd’s death this summer.
If Potter is found guilty of second-degree murder, he could face up to 10 years in prison. Thursday should be the first court appearance at 13:30.
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More than 60 people were arrested in Brooklyn Center after a third night of protests clashing with police officers in connection with Wright’s deadly police shooting.