Former Minnesota police officer to make court appearance over shooting Daunte Wright

17 May 2021 - 20:00 By Reuters
A man holds a flag as mourners pay their respects for Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center Police officer Kim Potter, at his funeral at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, April 22, 2021.
A man holds a flag as mourners pay their respects for Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center Police officer Kim Potter, at his funeral at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, April 22, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Octavio Jones/File Photo

The white Minnesota police officer charged with manslaughter after fatally shooting the 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright during a traffic stop near Minneapolis last month was due to attend a pretrial court hearing on Monday afternoon.

Kimberly Potter was captured on her colleagues' body-worn camera attempting to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant in the suburban city of Brooklyn Center on April 11 after pulling him over because he had an air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror.

The video shows Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, shouting “Taser!” while pointing her handgun at Wright, who was attempting to get back behind the steering wheel. She then shoots Wright in the chest, in what activists view as yet another graphic example of police brutality against Black Americans, which over the last year has fuelled the largest protest movement in the US in decades.

Before he resigned soon after, the city's police chief, Tim Gannon, said Potter mistakenly used her gun instead of her Taser.

Potter, who also resigned, did not enter a plea during her initial court appearance last month, and her lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.

Monday's hearing, known as an omnibus hearing under Minnesota law, before Hennepin County District Judge Regina Chu will be held via videoconferencing and is intended to allow both Potter and prosecutors from the Washington County Attorney's office to resolve any disputes over evidence and trial procedures.

The killing of Wright happened only a few miles away from the then ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis police officer who was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, in a deadly arrest in May 2020.


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