Officer who shot and killed black man after traffic was stopped to report manslaughter


© Reuters. Activists confront officials after a march for Daunte Wright who was shot and killed by former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota


(Reuters) – A police officer who fatally shot and killed a black man during a fight in a Minneapolis suburb that followed a routine traffic obstruction should be charged with second degree manslaughter on Wednesday, local media reported.

Minnesota officials identified Kim Potter, a 26-year-old veteran who quit the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday, as the officer who fatally shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright Sunday afternoon. The Washington County law firm was due to file charges against her on Wednesday, the Star Tribune reported.

Washington County attorney Pete Orput could not be reached immediately, and Potter’s attorney, Earl Gray, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In addition to Potter, Tim Gannon, the Brooklyn Center police chief, announced his resignation on Tuesday.

Wright was shot dead on Sunday after being run over for an expired car registration number. Officers discovered that there was an arrest warrant against him and one officer accidentally drew her pistol instead of her taser during a fight with Wright, who got back into his car, Gannon said Monday.

Potter can be heard on the police video shouting, “Holy shit, I just shot him.”

To be convicted of second degree manslaughter under Minnesota law, prosecutors must demonstrate that Potter was “culpably negligent” and took “unreasonable risk” in their actions against Wright. The indictment has a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of $ 20,000.

The shooting has drawn attention to potential problems with police officers’ use of tasers. Some experts say it is clear that the problems with the training and design of the weapon persist.

It has also renewed criticism of discretionary vehicle stops for minor traffic violations, which civil rights advocates say can give law enforcement leeway to racial discrimination.

Wright was killed just a few miles from the Minneapolis courthouse where the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd last May, is taking place.

46-year-old Floyd, who died in handcuffs and pinned his neck under Chauvin’s knee in the street, became the face of national protests against racism and police brutality that swept the United States last summer.

On Tuesday, protesters gathered outside Brooklyn Center Police Headquarters for a third night. Some protesters threw bottles and other projectiles over a fence in front of headquarters. Officers fired tear gas, non-fatal rounds, and lightning strikes to disperse the crowd.

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