Tags: police shooting | minnesota | kim potter | daunte wright

Ex-Minnesota Cop Appears in Court in Shooting of Black Motorist

kim potter mugshot
In this handout provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter poses for a mugshot at the Hennepin County Jail on April 14, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)

Thursday, 15 April 2021 02:36 PM

The former Minnesota police officer charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Black man during a traffic stop made her first court appearance on Thursday as the family called for "full accountability" for his death.

Prosecutors will try to show that Kim Potter, 48, was "culpably negligent" and took an "unreasonable risk" in shooting Daunte Wright after pulling him over for expired license plates in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on Sunday.

If convicted of the charge of second-degree manslaughter, Potter, who is white, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

"The last few days, everybody has asked me what do we want to see happen," Wright's mother Katie told a briefing at the Minneapolis church where her son's funeral will be held next Thursday. "I do want accountability, 100% accountability ... But even when that happens, if that happens, we're still going to bury our son."

Potter, who resigned on Tuesday after 26 years on the force, appeared in a Hennepin County courtroom around 1:30 p.m. CST Thursday.

Potter was taken into custody by agents of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Wednesday. She was released hours later after posting $100,000 bond.

Police video of the shooting shows Potter threatening to stun Wright with her Taser before firing her handgun. Former Police Chief Tim Gannon, who also resigned on Tuesday, said she mistakenly used her service weapon instead of her Taser.

In the video, Potter can be heard shouting: "Taser, Taser, Taser!" as she draws her weapon and opens fire on Wright in his car after he had just pulled away from a fellow officer.

She is then is heard saying: "Holy shit, I just shot him."

Benjamin Crump, lawyer for the Wright family, said the shooting reflected a broader problem of law enforcement in the United States using excessive force and having a propensity to "overpolice marginalized minorities, especially Black Men."

But Crump said the move to charge Potter also represented some progress following the lack of prosecutions of officers involved in the deaths of Black men such as Eric Garner and Michael Brown in recent years.

"All this family is striving for is to get full accountability, get equal justice. Nothing more and nothing less," Crump told a briefing at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church.

The shooting escalated tensions in a region already on edge over the ongoing murder trial of white former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man.

Hundreds of protesters massed outside Brooklyn Center police headquarters for a fourth night on Wednesday. About two dozen people were arrested on charges including curfew violations. The protests were smaller and more peaceful than on Tuesday night, when 72 people were arrested, police said. (Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut, and Maria Caspani in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Daniel Wallis)

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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A white former police officer faces her first court appearance Thursday in the traffic-stop shooting of a Black motorist that has engulfed a small Minneapolis suburb with four straight days of bitter conflict between protesters and police...
police shooting, minnesota, kim potter, daunte wright
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2021-36-15
Thursday, 15 April 2021 02:36 PM
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