Minneapolis Cop Who Shot Daunte Wright Convicted of Two Counts of Manslaughter

Minneapolis Cop Who Shot Daunte Wright Convicted of Two Counts of Manslaughter

Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran who resigned from the Brooklyn Center police force, poses for a booking photograph at Hennepin County Jail for fatally shooting Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, Minn., April 14, 2021. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via Reuters )

The jury found Minneapolis police officer Kim Potter, who fatally shot Daunte Wright, guilty of two counts of first and second degree manslaughter on Thursday.

The defendant argued that she did not intend to wield her gun at Wright but rather mean to reach for her Taser. Potter pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prosecutor Erin Eldridge said Monday that Potter made a “blunder of epic proportions” when she fired her weapon at Wright. Potter’s lawyer Earl Gray retorted during closing arguments that her action amounted to an accident and that it was not a criminal offense.

Minneapolis homicide law, specifically the second-degree-manslaughter statute, stipulates that the defendant must have displayed “culpable negligence” in consciously committing an unreasonable act with recklessness that created a substantial risk of causing death or great bodily harm to another individual. While the jury determined Thursday that Potter met this benchmark, the defense claimed that Potter consciously believed she was using a weapon designed to stun or immobilize rather than kill.

Wright’s death coincided with the wave of social justice protests that overwhelmed   Minneapolis amid police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial in George Floyd’s killing.

Potter shot Wright when he resisted arrest and attempted to get back into his vehicle. Wounded from the gunshots, Wright crashed his car shortly after driving away, according to police testimony.

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