Kim Potter, the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, was arrested Wednesday morning for second degree manslaughter.
Potter’s arrest came the day after she resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department and three days after she shot the 20-year-old black man. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Wright’s death, while fleeing a police station, exacerbated already high tensions in and around Minneapolis over the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd last year.
Kim Potter, a 26-year-old veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, poses for a booking photo in Hennepin County Jail for driving 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic obstruction on April 14, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota fatally shot.
Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via Reuters
Body camera video footage of Potter during Sunday’s confrontation suggests she believed she pulled out a taser as she pointed and fired the gun at Wright after he turned away from another officer who tried to get him next to his Handcuffed SUV.
Wright had been stopped by police in Brooklyn Center because license plates had expired and an air freshener was hanging on his rearview mirror.
Police then attempted to arrest Wright after learning that he was wanted on a pending no-show arrest warrant in a criminal case accused of carrying a gun without permission and escaped police in June to be.
Potter screamed desperately and repeatedly “Taser!” before shooting Wright as he sat in the driver’s seat of his vehicle after pulling away from the other officer.
Potter’s Taser is colored pale yellow in contrast to their black 9mm Glock pistol.
Washington County, Minnesota District Attorney Pete Orput announced that Potter would be charged with Wright’s death.
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Police Officer Kim Potter in 2007.
Bruce Bisping | Star Tribune via Getty Images
She was arrested Wednesday morning at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Authorities said she would be detained in Hennepin County Jail and the Washington County Attorney’s Office would bring charges later on Wednesday.
Authorities said the investigation into the shooting is still active.
Wright’s older brother told NBC News that the family had hoped Potter would be charged with a more serious crime.
“I’m not very happy about this, but I will take every win I can get right now,” said Dallas Bryant, Wright’s 23-year-old brother.
A group of lawyers representing the Wright family said in a statement, “While we appreciate the District Attorney seeking justice for Daunte, no conviction of the Wright family can return loved ones.”
“This was not an accident. This was a deliberate, deliberate and unlawful use of force,” the lawyers said.
Former Police Officer Kim Potter’s home was blocked by security barricades on April 14, 2021 in Champlin, Minnesota.
Kerem Yucel | AFP | Getty Images
Potter, who served at the Brooklyn Center for 26 years and previously served as president of the police union, has retained a defense attorney, Earl Gray, according to the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. Gray did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Gray is also representing former Minneapolis Police Officer Thomas Lane, one of two other ex-officers on trial separately from Chauvin on lesser charges for the death of Floyd, who was black like Wright.
Floyd’s assassination by Chauvin sparked nationwide protests against police misconduct against minority suspects and called for a major reform of police practices.
Wright’s death sparked protests in the Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis.