Ex-Minnesota police officer Kim Potter, 48, fatally shot Daunte Wright, 20, at a traffic stop on Sunday. She has now been arrested and is expected to be charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Wright was pulled over shortly before 2 p.m. by Potter and another officer for expired car tags. Upon running his ID, they discovered that he had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and attempted to arrest him. Wright managed to slip away as they tried to handcuff him and got back into his car, which is when he was fatally shot once in the chest.
Ex-Police Chief Tim Gannon, who resigned on Tuesday along with Potter, said the shooting appeared to be the result of Potter mistaking her gun for her Taser. A short clip of Potter’s body camera footage showed Wright getting back into his car as a female voice, presumably Potter’s, threatened to taser him and then shouted “Taser!” several times.
The same female voice could later be heard saying, “Holy s— I just shot him,” after deploying her gun.
Wright family attorneys Benjamin Crump, Jeff Storms, and Anthony Romanucci said in a statement that Potter’s arrest is a step in the right direction.
“While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back,” they said. “This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force.”
“A 26-year veteran of the force knows the difference between a taser and a firearm. Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanor warrant,” they said. “It’s past time for meaningful change in our country.”
Sunday’s killing is one of many high-profile deaths of black men by police in the Minneapolis area. Wright’s death took place just 14 miles from where George Floyd was killed in May of last year.
If convicted, Potter could face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000. She is being represented by attorney Earl Gray who is also the attorney for Thomas Lane, one of four officers involved in Floyd’s death
Wright is being remembered as a sports lover and a family man who was an adoring dad to his 2-year-old son.
“He was a son, he was a brother, he was an uncle, he was a father, he was a grandson,” his mother, Katie Wright, told reporters on Monday. “He was so much more, and he did not deserve this. My heart is literally broken into a thousand pieces.”