Updated Apr 14, 2021 - Politics

Officer Kim Potter arrested, charged with manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

The booking photos of Kim Potter, who's been charged with second-degree murder following Daunte Wright's death

Kim Potter's booking photos. Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

Kim Potter, the former police officer charged with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, was released on a $100,000 bond on Wednesday, Hennepin County jail records show.

Why it matters: Sunday's shooting of the 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, just 10 miles from where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year, has reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.

Context: Washington County Attorney Pete Orput arrested and charged Potter with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, according to Minnesota law.

The big picture: Police said at a press conference the day after the shooting that Potter appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a Taser during a traffic stop.

  • Both Potter and Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon submitted their resignations on Tuesday.
  • A New York Times review of 15 so-called "weapon confusion" cases of police shooting people found that only five were indicted and three ultimately convicted.

Between the lines: Brooklyn Center, a suburb about 10 miles north of Minneapolis, is in Hennepin County, not Washington.

  • Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman's office referred the case to Orput under a new policy meant to avoid conflict-of-interest issues given the close working relationship between prosecutors and local police.

What they're saying: "While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back. This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force. Driving while Black continues to result in a death sentence," Ben Crump, attorney for the Wright family, said in a statement.

  • "It’s past time for meaningful change in our country. We will keep fighting for justice for Daunte, for his family, and for all marginalized people of color. And we will not stop until there is meaningful policing and justice reform and until we reach our goal of true equality."

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to include details of Potter's release.


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