Kim Potter, the Minnesota police officer who, according to Brooklyn Center police officials, fired her gun instead of a taser during a traffic stop on Sunday, will be charged with second-degree manslaughter for the death of Daunte Wright, local authorities announced on Wednesday morning.
Potter, 48, was one of the Brooklyn Center Police Department officers present when authorities were arresting Wright. The 20-year-old was fatally shot after Wright made an apparent attempt to resist arrest, according to bodycam footage of the altercation.
Officials said that Potter, who submitted a resignation letter to the city Tuesday, will be formally charged with second-degree manslaughter later Wednesday, according to The New York Times. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrested Potter on Wednesday morning, reports USA Today, citing a spokesperson for the bureau.
In Minnesota, a second-degree manslaughter conviction carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Tim Gannon, the former police chief for Brooklyn Center, said Monday that he believed Potter had fired her gun accidentally. In video footage of the incident, a female officer can be heard saying “taser!” repeatedly before firing the gun, and the saying “Oh sh**” when she appears to realize what happened. The car reportedly drove off with Wright and a female passenger inside before coming to a stop several blocks away.
“As you can hear, the officer, while struggling with Mr. Wright yells ‘Taser! Taser!’ several times. That is part of the officer’s training prior to deploying a Taser, which is a less lethal device,” Gannon told reporters on Monday, reported ABC News. “As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.”
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner announced Tuesday that they had determined that Wright died of a gunshot wound.
Mayor Mike Elliot announced on Tuesday that Gannon had resigned, but the mayor declined to share the specific reason for it. Potter also submitted a letter of resignation to the city, which simply read: “I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.”
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