The police officer who shot a man thinking she was using her taser was criminally charged in connection to the 20-year-old’s death.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput told Minneapolis media on April 14 that Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Potter resigned from the Brooklyn Center police on April 13. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon also resigned after the shooting.
The incident happened outside Minneapolis and miles from where ex-cop Derek Chauvin is on trial in connection to the death of George Floyd.
Around 2 p.m. on April 11, Brooklyn Center police went to pull over Daunte Wright for an expired license plate tag. When officers checked his name, they determined Wright had outstanding warrants, Gannon said at an April 12 press conference.
Officers went to arrest him and put him in handcuffs, which is when Wright resisted and tried to get back into the car.
Police struggled with Wright until Potter yelled “taser” several times to let other officers know she planned on using the non-lethal device. But, she removed her gun and shot Wright one time instead. Body camera footage released by the agency showed the shooting.
“Oh s***. I just shot him,” Potter said moments after firing.
Wright drove several blocks where he crashed into another car. He died a short time later.
“It’s my belief the officer had the intention to deploy their taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said at the press conference.
“This appears to me, from what I view, that this was an accidental discharge that results in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
The shooting sparked a new wave of protests in Minnesota, with some turning violent. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott asked Governor Tim Walz to reassign the investigation to the Attorney General’s office to help with transparency.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was also called in to investigate the shooting.