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Former Police Officer Found Guilty Of Manslaughter After Accidentally Shooting Motorist

Former Police Officer Found Guilty Of Manslaughter After Accidentally Shooting Motorist

Kim Potter pulled out her firearm instead of her taser during a traffic stop and fatally shot Daunte Wright.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

A former Minnesota police officer has been found guilty of manslaughter after she accidentally shot a motorist instead of using her taser.

Daunte Wright was pulled over for a traffic violation on April 11 this year for an expired tags violation.

However, officers learned the 20-year-old also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

It was alleged Wright tried to get back into his car while he was being arrested and one of the arresting officers, Kim Potter, accidentally pulled out her handgun instead of her taser and pulled the trigger.

Bodycam footage showed Officer Potter warned Wright to stop moving and threatened to 'tase ya' as he was kicking her.

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The officer was heard saying on the footage: "Taser, taser, taser...Oh s**t! I just shot him."

Due to the nature of Mr Wright's death, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office classified it as a homicide.

Not only did Daunte's death happen in the city where George Floyd was killed, but Mr Wright was shot dead just 10 miles from where Floyd died.

During the trial, prosecutor Erin Eldridge explained how the 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department deserved to be punished for her actions.

In her closing arguments, Ms Eldridge said: "This was no little oopsie.

"This was not putting the wrong date on a check. This was not entering the wrong password somewhere. This was a colossal screwup, a blunder of epic proportions."

On the flip side, Potter's attorney, Earl Gray, said his client did make a 'mistake' however she was not to blame.


"Daunte Wright caused his own death, unfortunately. Those are the cold hard facts of the evidence," Gray said.

According to Buzzfeed, the 12-person jury had to decide whether Potter acted recklessly or with 'culpable negligence' during the moments before Daunte was shot dead.

Potter was deeply apologetic about the incident and explained how she was just trying to stop a situation going from bad to worse.

"I'm sorry it happened. I'm so sorry," Potter testified. "I didn't want to hurt anybody."

Hennepin County District Judge Regina Chu announced Potter was found guilty on two charges: first-degree manslaughter predicated on reckless use/handling of a firearm and second-degree manslaughter.

She could face up to several years behind bars and will be sentenced in February next year.

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Topics: News