Former Brooklyn Center Officer Booked Into Jail on Manslaughter Charge
Brooklyn Center, MN (KROC-AM News) - The former Brooklyn Center Police Officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright last Sunday has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Washington County Attorney Peter Orput is handling the case to avoid any potential conflicts of interest and announced today that 48-year-old Kimberly Potter had been taken into custody by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents, who transported her to jail for her first court appearance on the charge.
“Certain occupations carry an immense responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer,” said Imran Ali, Washington County assistant criminal division chief and director of the Major Crime Unit. “With that responsibility comes a great deal of discretion and accountability. We will vigorously prosecute this case and intend to prove that Officer Potter abrogated her responsibility to protect the public when she used her firearm rather than her taser. Her action caused the unlawful killing of Mr. Wright and she must be held accountable. County Attorney Peter Orput and I met with the family, expressed our deepest sympathies and assured them we would spare no resources in seeking justice for Mr. Wright.”
The criminal complaint says Potter was involved in stopping a car driven by Wright in Brooklyn Center shortly before 2 PM on Sunday. It was soon determined that Wright was wanted on an outstanding warrant involving a gross misdemeanor weapons offense and Wright was informed that he was being placed under arrest. Wright then began struggling with another officer and Potter stated she would tase him as he climbed back into the driver seat of his car.
That's when Potter grabbed her handgun with her right hand and pointed it at Wright. Seconds later, the former officer yelled, "Taser, Taser, Taser," and fired one shot into the right side of Wright's chest. The complaint, based on police body camera videos, says the man responded by speeding away and then crashing into another vehicle before he died from the gunshot wound.
The court record indicates an investigator from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension examined Potter's duty belt and noted her handgun is holstered on the right side and the Taser on the left. The grips of both weapons faced the former officer’s rear with the Taser distinguished by its yellow color. The investigator also stated the Taser was set in a straight-draw position, which would have required Potter to use her left hand to pull it out of the holster.
Potter announced her resignation on Tuesday along with the Brooklyn Center Police Chief. She had been with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 26 years.
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