Minnesota cop will be charged in shooting of Black motorist

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This May 31, 2007 photo shows Officer Kim Potter, part of the Brooklyn Center Police negotiation team in Brooklyn Center, Minn. Potter, who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a Black man, during a traffic stop on Sunday, April 11, 2021 in the Minneapolis suburb and the city’s chief of police have resigned. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott says he hopes the moves will heal the community and lead to reconciliation after two nights of protests and unrest. (Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via AP)

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota prosecutor said Wednesday that he will charge a white former suburban Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, igniting days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police.

Kim Potter will be charged with second-degree manslaughter, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The announcement came a day after Potter resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where she had served for 26 years. Police Chief Tim Gannon also resigned Tuesday.

Brooklyn Center, Min., Police Chief Tim Gannon talks to the media on Monday, April 12, 2021. Officer Kim Potter white police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a Black man during a traffic stop on Sunday, in the Minneapolis suburb resigned Tuesday, as did Gannon, moves that the mayor said he hoped would help heal the community and lead to reconciliation after two nights of protests and unrest. (Shari Gross/Star Tribune via AP)

Gannon had released Potter’s body camera video the day after the Sunday shooting. It showed her approaching Wright as he stood outside of his car as another officer was arresting him for an outstanding warrant. Police said he was pulled over for having expired registration tags.

As Wright struggles with police, Potter is hearing shouting “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing a single shot from her handgun.

Gannon has said he believed Potter mistakenly grabbed her gun when she was going for her Taser. However, protesters and Wright’s family members say there’s no excuse for the shooting and it shows how the justice system is tilted against Blacks, noting Wright was stopped for expired car registration and ended up dead.

This photo provided by Ben Crump Law, PLLC. shows Daunte Wright and his son Daunte Jr., at his first birthday party. A white police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb resigned Tuesday, April 13, 2021 as did the city’s police chief — moves that the mayor said he hoped would help heal the community and lead to reconciliation after two nights of protests and unrest. (Ben Crump Law, PLLC. via AP)

The charging decision was announced as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin progresses. George Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck.

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