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Ex-Police Officer Who Accidentally Shot Black Man Dead Has Been Charged With Manslaughter

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Ex-Police Officer Who Accidentally Shot Black Man Dead Has Been Charged With Manslaughter

Former Minnesota Police Officer Kim Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter over the death of Daunte Wright.

The 20-year-old black man was pulled over for a traffic violation on Sunday (April 11).

After stopping Wright for the expired tags violation, officers learned the man also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

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

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

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

Credit: The Recount/Twitter
Credit: The Recount/Twitter

She's now been charged with second-degree manslaughter, an offence which carries up to 10 years behind bars and/or a $20,000 fine if convicted.

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It will be up to prosecutors to argue that a person can be convicted of second-degree manslaughter if they cause a death by 'culpable negligence' that creates an unreasonable risk and consciously takes chances to cause the death of a person, according to AP.

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

Imran Ali, Washington County assistant criminal division chief, said in a statement while announcing the charge against Potter: "Certain occupations carry an immense responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer. [Potter's] action caused the unlawful killing of Mr. Wright and she must be held accountable."

Potter had been a police officer for 26 years and was also a training officer.

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She resigned earlier this week, along with Police Chief Tim Gannon, who defended the veteran's account of what happened.

"[It] is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,' ex-Chief Gannon said.

"This appears to me from what I viewed and the officer's reaction in distress immediately after that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright."

Security fences have since been erected outside Potter's home to protect her safety.

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Daunte Wright's family attorney, Ben Crump, doesn't believe the former officer's account that it was 'accidental'.

"Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanor warrant," he said.

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.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, US News

Stewart Perrie
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