A first-degree manslaughter charge has now been filed against former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter, who had already been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison added the charge against Potter this week.
The maximum sentence for first-degree manslaughter is 15 years and a $30,000 fine and for second-degree manslaughter, it’s 10 years and a $20,000 fine.
Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, died of a gunshot wound to the chest in April 2021, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, which classified the manner of death as a homicide.
He was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Brooklyn center after officer Potter said she mistook her taser for a gun and fired at him. He died about 10 miles from where George Floyd, another black man was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year.
Body camera video showed Potter yelled, “Taser!” but fired her service weapon, killing the 20-year-old Wright as he tried to get back into his car.
According to a police report filed at the time, Potter said thought she’d grabbed her Taser instead of a gun.
Potter was charged with manslaughter three days after the shooting. In the weeks following the shooting, activists demanded Potter be charged with third-degree murder.
Potter, 48, had been with Brooklyn Center Police for 26 years before she submitted her resignation following the shooting.
Potter’s trial is scheduled to start Nov. 30.
Ben Crump, Tony Romanucci and Jeff Storms, attorneys for Wright’s family, issued the following statement:
“The amended Complaint further details how no reasonable officer could confuse their sidearm for a TASER. Kimberly Potter’s killing of Daunte Wright was not a mere accident. We and Daunte’s family all commend Attorney General Ellison and his team for working to obtain the strongest and most just conviction possible.”