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Minnesota Police Officer Faces Manslaughter in Brooklyn Center Shooting


Authorities fire gas munitions at demonstrators gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department to protest the shooting death of Daunte Wright, late April 13, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

A former police officer in the U.S. state of Minnesota makes her first court appearance Thursday on a charge of second-degree manslaughter for the shooting death of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced the charge against Kim Potter on Wednesday. The incident occurred in Hennepin County, but under a policy adopted last year in Minnesota, the case was referred to a different county to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.

Protesters have rallied each day since the shooting took place Sunday, focusing demonstrations at police headquarters in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, as they call for justice in Wright’s death. Authorities have issued overnight curfews, and clashes have broken out between officers and protesters.

Both Potter and Police Chief Tim Gannon resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department after the shooting.

Gannon released Potter’s body camera video Monday at a news conference. It showed Potter, who is white, approaching Wright, a 20-year-old African American, while he stood outside his car as another officer was arresting him for an outstanding warrant. Police said he was pulled over for having expired registration tags.

Gannon told reporters he believes Potter shot Wright when she meant to use her Taser. A Taser is a nonlethal electroshock weapon used to incapacitate an individual, thus allowing them to be approached and handled in an unresisting and safe manner.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest and classified the manner of death as a homicide.