Former Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright to Remain Free on Bail

April 15, 2021 Updated: April 15, 2021

The former police officer who fatally shot a man during a traffic stop in Minnesota over the weekend was ordered on April 15 to appear in court next month.

In a brief appearance via Zoom, Kim Potter was told to appear on May 17 in person before Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu, unless other arrangements are made with the judge.

Potter, 48, was arrested on April 14 on a second-degree manslaughter charge. She was released from jail hours later after posting a $100,000 bond; she will remain free until her next court appearance, a judge said during the virtual hearing.

Potter was reminded that she “must remain law-abiding and must make all future court appearances” and that Minnesota law requires that she not possess, use, or transport firearms, ammunition, or explosives.

Potter had pulled her handgun during the arrest of Daunte Wright, 20, on April 11 in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis. When Wright resisted and hopped back into his driver’s seat, Wright shot him.

Potter believed she was firing the Taser she also had on her, former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters in a briefing; Potter and Gannon both submitted their resignations on April 13.

Epoch Times Photo
Fencing and concrete barriers surround the home of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter as local police guard her residence, in Champlin, Minn., on April 14, 2021. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)
Epoch Times Photo
Members of Daunte Wright’s family visit a memorial site near the place he was killed, n Brooklyn Center, Minn., on April 14, 2021. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

According to the criminal complaint against Potter, obtained by The Epoch Times, Potter’s handgun was holstered on the right side of her belt, and the Taser was holstered on the left side.

Potter would have had to use her left hand to draw the Taser because it was “set in a straight-draw position,” Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Sam McGinnis said.

Wright’s death was declared a homicide by Dr. Loren Jackson, a county medical examiner, with the cause of death a gunshot wound to the man’s chest.

“Certain occupations carry an immense responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer. With that responsibility comes a great deal of discretion and accountability,” Imran Ali, Washington County assistant criminal division chief and director of the Major Crime Unit, said in a statement announcing the charge against Potter.

“We will 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. Her action caused the unlawful killing of Mr. Wright and she must be held accountable. County Attorney Peter Orput and I met with the family, expressed our deepest sympathies, and assured them we would spare no resources in seeking justice for Mr. Wright.”

Ben Crump, a lawyer for Wright’s family, alleged that Potter “executed” the man. In a news conference on April 14, he said the family was concerned that Potter wouldn’t be held accountable.

The head of Minnesota’s largest police union, meanwhile, said Wright would still be alive he had not tried escaping from police.

“Daunte Wright, if he would have just complied—he was told he was under arrest, they were arresting him on a warrant for weapons. He set off a chain of events that unfortunately led to his death,” Brian Peters, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, told WCCO-TV.

Wright’s death sparked riots in Brooklyn Center and elsewhere, with dozens of arrests made.

 

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
Follow Zachary on Parler: @zackstieber