Trial of ex-US cop who shot Daunte Wright to begin December 6

Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran officer, faces second-degree manslaughter charge for shooting Wright near Minneapolis.

Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter made her first court appearance over Zoom in the shooting death of Daunte Wright in April [Cedric Hohnstadt via AP Photo]
Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter made her first court appearance over Zoom in the shooting death of Daunte Wright in April [Cedric Hohnstadt via AP Photo]

The former United States police officer charged with manslaughter for fatally shooting 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright during a traffic stop near Minneapolis last month will go on trial beginning on December 6, a state judge said on Monday.

Kimberly Potter, 48, was captured on her colleague’s body-worn camera attempting to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant in the suburban city of Brooklyn Center on April 11.

The footage showed Potter approaching Wright as he stands outside of his car as another officer is arresting him.

As Wright struggled with police, Potter shouted, “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing a single shot from a handgun in her right hand.

The deadly shooting, which came as the Minneapolis trial of ex-officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd was under way, spurred large protests in Brooklyn Center demanding an end to police brutality against Black people.

A protester holds up a poster depicting Daunte Wright during a protest on April 16 [File: Octavio Jones/Reuters]
Police have said Wright was pulled over for expired tags, but they sought to arrest him after discovering an outstanding warrant.

The warrant was for his failure to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and had a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.

The city’s former police chief, Tim Gannon, said Potter – who resigned following the shooting – mistakenly used her gun instead of her Taser.

Potter did not enter a plea during her initial court appearance last month, and her lawyer did not respond to the Reuters news agency’s requests for comment.

The December 6 trial date was set during a brief videoconference hearing on Monday, known as an omnibus hearing under Minnesota law, before Hennepin County District Judge Regina Chu.

Potter, dressed in black, appeared alongside her lawyer Earl Gray in his office. She spoke only to say she understood and did not object to the proceeding being held virtually.

Kim Potter did not enter a plea during her initial court appearance last month [File: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via Reuters]
The shooting happened during the trial of Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of murder for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes in May last year.

Floyd’s killing, which was captured on camera, set off mass protests across the US and around the world demanding an end to police violence against Black people.

Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional murder and manslaughter on April 20, but his lawyer has requested a new trial, citing prosecutorial misconduct and a tainted jury, among other issues.

Chauvin and the three other officers present during Floyd’s death also face federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

Source: News Agencies

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