Minnesota police officer to be charged over shooting of black motorist

Kim Potter will be charged with second-degree manslaughter over the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

Demonstrators flash their mobile phone lights as they gather outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Department to protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in Minnesota
Demonstrators flash their mobile phone lights as they gather outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Department to protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in Minnesota

A Minnesota prosecutor has said he will charge a white former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot a black motorist during a traffic stop, igniting days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police.

Kim Potter will be charged with second-degree manslaughter over the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The announcement came a day after Potter resigned from the Brooklyn Centre Police Department, where she had served for 26 years.

Demonstrators take cover from crowd-dispersal munitions from police outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Department while protesting over the shooting death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Centre, Minnesota
Demonstrators take cover from crowd-dispersal munitions outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Department in Minnesota (John Minchillo/AP)

Police chief Tim Gannon also resigned on Tuesday.

Mr Gannon had released Potter’s body camera video the day after the Sunday shooting.

It showed her approaching Mr Wright as he stood outside his car as another officer was arresting him for an outstanding warrant.

Police said he was pulled over for having expired registration tags.

As Mr Wright struggles with police, Potter is heard shouting “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing a single shot from her handgun.

Mr Gannon has said he believed Potter mistakenly grabbed her gun when she was going for her Taser.

However, protesters and Mr Wright’s family members say there is no excuse for the shooting and it shows how the justice system is tilted against blacks, noting Mr Wright was stopped for an expired car registration and ended up dead.

The charging decision was announced as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin progresses.

Demonstrators gather outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Department in Minnesota
Demonstrators gather outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Department in Minnesota (John Minchillo/AP)

George Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Mr Floyd’s neck.

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