Culture

Protesters gather by LAPD downtown headquarters in wake of Daunte Wright shooting

Protesters gather by LAPD downtown headquarters in wake of Daunte Wright shooting”

A white former police officer faces her first court appearance over the fatal shooting of a black motorist in a suburb of Minneapolis, igniting four straight days of bitter conflict between protesters and officers.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state agency that investigates police killings in Minnesota, said that Ms. Potter had been arrested and taken into custody on Wednesday morning and would be booked into the Hennepin County Jail.

Since Sunday, hundreds of protesters have gathered outside the police station to protest police violence toward Black people.

Imran Ali, Washington County assistant criminal division chief, vowed he would "vigorously prosecute this case and intend to prove that Officer Potter abrogated her responsibility to protect the public when she used her firearm rather than her Taser".

Under Minnesota statutes, second-degree manslaughter can apply in cases where someone has created "unreasonable risk" and kills another person through their negligence.

Mr. Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer, was charged with second-degree manslaughter in Mr. Floyd's death, but he also faces second-degree murder and third-degree murder and faces as many as 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.

The Washington County Attorney's Office said Potter was acting as her partner's field training officer at the time of the shooting.

Intent is not a necessary component of second-degree manslaughter in Minnesota. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a US$20,000 fine.

Brooklyn Center had a 10 p.m. curfew Wednesday, the fourth night in a row that the city has taken that action. "They're the ones ready for war", she said of the National Guard members and riot police stationed behind fortified fences across the street.

Outside Potter's home in Champlin, north of Brooklyn Center, concrete barricades and tall metal fencing had been set up and police cars were in the driveway. After Floyd's death previous year, protesters demonstrated several times at the home of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer now on trial in Floyd's death.

In a police video of the shooting, Potter shouts: "Taser, Taser, Taser!" as she draws her weapon and opens fire on Wright in his vehicle after he had just pulled away from a fellow officer, then she is heard to say: "Holy shit, I just shot him".

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The police officers at the scene then tried to arrest him over an outstanding warrant after failing to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June previous year.

Body camera video shows Potter approaching Mr Wright as he stands outside his auto as another officer arrests him.

Potter was an instructor with Brooklyn Center police, according to the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.

"I'll Tase you! I'll Tase you!" She draws her weapon after Wright breaks free from police and gets back behind the wheel.

Potter can be heard on police video shouting, "Holy s-, I just shot him".

People in the Minneapolis area protested after the Brooklyn Center Police chief described the shooting of Daunte Wright, an unarmed Black man, as 'an accidental discharge.' This comes as the prosecution wraps up its case in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged in the death of George Floyd.

Potter is at least the third USA law enforcement officer to face charges after claiming they mistakenly killed someone with a gun when they meant to use a Taser.

Ms. Potter warned that she would use a stun gun on him and then shouted "Taser!" three times before firing a bullet into his chest, killing him. Mayor Mike Elliott has said that the city had been moving toward firing Potter when she submitted her resignation.

Ben Crump, a lawyer for the Wright family, said in a statement: "While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back".

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



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