Sep 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Kim Potter faces first-degree manslaughter charge in Daunte Wright death

A black lives matter protest.

A community leader speaks as protesters rally outside the Brooklyn Center police station to protest the death of Daunte Wright. Photo: KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

Minnesota prosecutors upgraded charges Thursday against Kim Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.

Why it matters: Potter is now charged with first-degree manslaughter in addition to a prior charge of second-degree manslaughter, but activists have pushed for murder charges during protests in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, AP notes.

  • Potter shot and killed Wright during a traffic stop in April. She has since claimed that she meant to reach for her Taser instead of her handgun. Potter was released on a $100,000 bond on April 15.
  • Wright's death sparked protests in Brooklyn Center during the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin.

The big picture: The complaint filed Thursday alleges that Potter caused Wright’s death “while committing the misdemeanor offense of reckless handling or use of a firearm so as to endanger the safety of another with such force and violence that death or great bodily harm to any person was reasonably foreseeable.”

  • The first-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and second-degree manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 10 years. Potter is set to stand trial Nov. 30.
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