crime and punishment

Kim Potter released from Hennepin County Jail, charged with manslaughter in Daunte Wright’s death

Kimberly A. Potter (©Hennepin County Jail)
Kimberly A. Potter (©Hennepin County Jail)

Kimberly “Kim” A. Potter, 48, of Minneapolis, Hennepin CountyMinnesota, United States resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department on April 13, 2021. On the afternoon of April 14, 2021, she was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright, an African-American man from Minneapolis.

At around 11:30 a.m. on April 14, 2021, Potter was arrested at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. After spending a few hours in the Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis, she posted a $100,000 bond and was released.

On April 11, 2021, Potter went to work as the field training officer of new Brooklyn Center Police Department officer Anthony Luckey. At 1:53 p.m. that day, they pulled over a white Buick driven by Wright at 63rd Avenue North and Orchard Avenue North in Brooklyn Center.

Wright complied when he was asked to get out of the car and place his hands behind his back. When Luckey told Wright that he was being arrested for an outstanding warrant for a gross misdemeanor weapons charge, the latter pulled away and went back to his car.

“Taser, Taser, Taser!” Potter yelled at Wright. Instead of a Taser, she puller her Glock 9mm handgun with her right hand and shot him.

According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest. He was 20 years old.

If found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, Potter will spend up to 10 years in jail. Represented by Earl Gray, she will make her first court appearance at 1:30 p.m. on April 15, 2021.

Potter joined the Brooklyn Center Police Department in February 1995. Her husband Jeffrey “Jeff” Potter was a police officer in Fridley, Anoka County, Minnesota from June 1990 to February 2017.

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Among the lawyers representing Wright’s family are Jeff Storms and Anthony Romanucci and Ben Crump. In a statement obtained by CBS Minnesota, Crump said, “This was no accident.”

“This was an intentional, deliberate and unlawful use of force,” Crump continued. “Driving while Black continues to result in a death sentence. A 26-year veteran of the force knows the difference between a taser and a firearm.”

“Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanor warrant,” Crump added. “Daunte’s life, like George Floyd’s life, like Eric Garner’s, like Breonna Taylor’s, like David Smith’s meant something but Kim Potter saw him as expendable.”

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