Daunte Wright shooting: Officer Kim Potter charged over killing
A white police officer who shot dead a black motorist in Minnesota has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, prosecutors say.
Officer Kim Potter has been arrested and will be held in custody.
Mrs Potter says she shot Daunte Wright accidentally, having mistakenly drawn her gun instead of her Taser.
Responding to the charges, the Wright family’s lawyer Ben Crump said the killing was an “intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force”.
Both Mrs Potter and Police Chief Tim Gannon have quit the Brooklyn Center force. The killing has sparked three nights of clashes between police and protesters.
It happened in a suburb of Minneapolis, a city already on edge amid the trial of a white ex-police officer accused of murdering African American George Floyd.
Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) said Mrs Potter had been arrested on Wednesday morning at the BCA in St Paul and would be booked into Hennepin County Jail on probable cause second-degree manslaughter.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 (£14,500) fine. Prosecutors must show that Mrs Potter was “culpably negligent” and took an “unreasonable risk” in her actions, Reuters reported.
In a statement, Mr Crump said “no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back”.
“A 26-year veteran of the force knows the difference between a taser and a firearm. Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanour warrant,” he said.
After the charge against Mrs Potter was announced, Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott tweeted: “Daunte Wright like many other black and brown members of our community should be alive and at home with his family today.”
Derrick Johnson, president of civil rights group the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said “justice must prevail” after Mr Wright’s death.
“A badge should never be a shield to accountability,” he tweeted. BBC News