The Potluck

Officer who shot Daunte Wright to face additional manslaughter charge

By: - September 2, 2021 4:49 pm

Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter was booked into the Hennepin County jail on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison added a charge of first-degree manslaughter Thursday against Kimberly Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April.

Potter will still face an existing charge of second-degree manslaughter, in which she is accused of “culpable negligence” while using a firearm. The first-degree manslaughter charge alleges reckless use or handling of a firearm.

Ellison added the charge after consulting with a police use-of-force expert and reviewing evidence, according to a news release. He took over the case in May at the request of Washington County Attorney Peter Orput, who was initially assigned the case.

The killing of Wright took place days before the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd. Police said Potter, a 26-year police veteran, mistook her gun for her Taser and shot Wright when he tried to get back in his car as police were arresting him.

First-degree manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fee. Wright’s trial is scheduled to begin in late November.

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.