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Rabu, 14 April 2021

Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter charged with manslaughter of black motorist Daunte Wright - ABC News

A former US police officer has been charged with second-degree manslaughter for killing 20-year-old black motorist Daunte Wright in a shooting that ignited days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police.

The charge against former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter was filed Wednesday (local time), three days after Mr Wright was killed during a traffic stop.

Former Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon previously said Ms Potter, a 26-year veteran and training officer, intended to use her taser on Mr Wright but fired her handgun instead.

However, protesters and Mr Wright’s family members say there’s no excuse for the shooting and that it shows how the justice system is tilted against black Americans, noting Mr Wright was stopped for expired car registration and ended up dead.

“Certain occupations carry an immense responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer,” Imran Ali, Washington County assistant criminal division chief, said in a statement announcing the charge.

“(Potter’s) action caused the unlawful killing of Mr Wright and she must be held accountable.”

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Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 7 seconds
Body camera video shows Ms Potter approaching Mr Wright as he stands outside his car as another officer is arresting him.

Mr Ali said he met with Mr Wright’s family and assured them that no resources would be spared in prosecuting the case.

Intent isn’t a necessary component of second-degree manslaughter in Minnesota.

The charge — which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison — can be applied in circumstances where a person is suspected of causing a death by “culpable negligence” that creates an unreasonable risk and consciously takes chances to cause the death of a person.

Wright family disputes accidental shooting claim

Ms Potter, 48, was arrested Wednesday morning at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St Paul. Her attorney did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.

Ms Potter and former police chief Tim Gannon both resigned on Tuesday.

Concrete barricades and tall metal fencing has been set up around Ms Potter’s home in Champlin, north of Brooklyn Center, with police cars guarding the driveway.

Fencing and concrete barriers surround the home of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter.
Fencing and concrete barriers surround the home of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter.(

AP: John Minchillo

)

Police say Mr Wright was pulled over for expired tags on Sunday, but they sought to arrest him after discovering he had an outstanding warrant.

The warrant was for his failure to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.

Body camera video that Mr Gannon released on Monday showed Ms Potter approaching Mr Wright as he stood outside his car as another officer is arresting him.

As Mr Wright struggles with police, Ms Potter shouted: “I’ll tase you! I’ll tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing a single shot from a handgun from her right hand.

The news release announcing the charge noted that Ms Potter holstered her handgun on the right side and her taser on the left.

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Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 33 seconds
Daunte Wright's family speaks out after his shooting death by a police officer.

The handles of each weapon faced to Ms Potter’s rear. The taser is yellow with a black grip and would require Ms Potter to remove it from her holster with her left hand, the county attorney’s statement said.

Wright family attorney Ben Crump said the family appreciates that she is being prosecuted, but he again disputed that the shooting was accidental, arguing that an experienced officer would know the difference between a taser and a handgun.

“Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanour warrant,” he said.

Protesters launch fireworks towards police station

Experts say cases of officers mistakenly firing their gun instead of a taser are rare, usually less than once a year nationwide.

Transit officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison after responding to a fight at a train station in Oakland, California, killing 22-year-old Oscar Grant in 2009.

Authorities advance on demonstrators gathered outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Department.
Authorities advance on demonstrators gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department to protest the shooting death of Daunte Wright.(

AP: John Minchillo

)

Mr Mehserle testified at trial that he mistakenly pulled his .40-caliber handgun instead of his stun gun.

In Oklahoma, a white volunteer sheriff’s deputy for Tulsa County, Robert Bates, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter after accidentally firing his handgun when he meant to deploy his stun gun on Eric Harris, a black man who was being held down by other officers in 2015.

Ms Potter was an instructor with Brooklyn Center police, according to the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.

She was training two other officers when they stopped Mr Wright, the association’s leader, Brian Peters, told the Star Tribune.

On Tuesday night, hundreds of demonstrators again gathered at Brooklyn Center's heavily guarded police headquarters, now ringed by concrete barriers and a tall metal fence, and where police in riot gear and National Guard soldiers stood watch.

A crowd-dispersal canister explodes beside demonstrators gathered outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Department.
A crowd-dispersal canister explodes beside demonstrators.(

AP: John Minchillo

)

About 90 minutes before a 10:00pm curfew, state police announced over a loudspeaker that the gathering had been declared unlawful and ordered the crowds to disperse.

Protesters launched fireworks toward the station and threw objects at officers, who launched flashbangs and gas grenades, then marched in a line to force back the crowd.

The number of protesters plummeted over the next hour, until only a few remained. Police also ordered all media to leave.

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2021-04-14 21:28:19Z
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