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Ex-cop arrested on second-degree manslaughter charge in Daunte Wright's death

By
K. Don Johnson & Darryl Coote & Danielle Haynes
Former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer Kimberly Potter faces second-degree manslaughter charges for the death of Daunte Wright. Photo courtesy of the Hennepin County Jail
Former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer Kimberly Potter faces second-degree manslaughter charges for the death of Daunte Wright. Photo courtesy of the Hennepin County Jail

April 14 (UPI) -- The former Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop was arrested Wednesday on second-degree manslaughter charges, Minnesota officials said.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said agents arrested Kimberly Potter Wednesday morning and the Washington County Attorney's Office planned to file charges later in the day.

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She was released from Hennepin County Jail after posting $100,000 bond, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The 26-year police veteran resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday.

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Protests have been held for three straight nights in Brooklyn Center in the aftermath of Wright's death. About 60 people were arrested Tuesday night. Authorities said Tuesday's protest began peacefully in the afternoon, but later turned violent as protesters began throwing bricks, bottles and other items at police.

Participants also ignited fireworks and directed lasers at the eyes of the officers, police said.

Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, said those arrested face charges ranging from curfew violations to rioting.

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In the wake of Wright's death, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon also resigned on Tuesday.

Gannon said Monday that he believed Potter accidentally shot Wright with her service weapon when she had intended to use her Taser.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest. His manner of death was classified as a homicide.

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On Sunday afternoon, police pulled Wright over for an expired registration on his car and something hanging from his rearview mirror. Police discovered he was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant. As he attempted to flee the arresting officer, he was shot and soon after died.

In footage from her body-worn camera taken during the incident, Potter can be heard repeatedly saying "Taser" before letting off a single bullet and then cursing afterward.

"I shot him," she is heard yelling.

During Tuesday's protest, about 1,000 people congregated outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters, the focal point of the previous two nights of protests, and began shaking the metal fence that separated them from officers in riot gear and National Guard members, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Langer told reporters in a midnight news conference, that authorities gave dispersal orders after the protesters tried to "compromise the fence" and began throwing items at police.

"The behaviors that we continue to see are unacceptable, and we are not going to tolerate them," Langer said.

Authorities implemented a 10 p.m. curfew for Brooklyn Center and other regions, including the Twin Cities.

Minneapolis police Chief Amelia Huffman said there were two arrests in the city and no reports of looting or businesses damaged as there were in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center the two previous nights.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot said Tuesday he has asked Gov. Tim Walz to reassign Wright's case to the office of the attorney general "to ensure transparency and to continue building trust in our community."

The shooting occurred during a tense time in Minneapolis, as the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin in the city nears its end.

Chauvin has been charged with murder in the killing of George Floyd, whose Memorial Day death sparked protests against racial inequality worldwide.

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