Another Officer on Trial
The trial for former Minneapolis police officer Kim Potter has officially been set for early December. Potter is charged with second-degree manslaughter for the April shooting that resulted in the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. The prosecution has made it clear that they will push to allow media recordings of the trial but the defense opposes this motion because of the added pressure it would put on the jury.
Potter first encountered Wright on April 11 during a traffic stop prompted by his expired registration tags. Police then proceeded to arrest Wright when they discovered that he had an outstanding warrant for arrest due to his previous failure to appear in court on a different charge. Video footage shows Wright resisting arrest and even managing to break free from the officers hold and attempting to reenter the vehicle. Potter is then heard repeatedly yelling the word, “taser,” signaling she would soon be deploying her taser at the fleeing criminal.
Unfortunately, rather than tazing Wright, Potter mistakenly picked up and fired a single shot from her service weapon which ultimately killed him. Tim Gannon, the Brooklynn center police chief at the time of the shooting, sided with Potter saying he genuinely believed she had intended to fire her stun gun. Other officers as well as the general public have also stood with Potter because even police officers are human and mistakes happen to everyone. Lawyers for Wright’s family dispute this, claiming that Potter’s 26 years on the force was a sufficient amount of time to learn to differentiate between the two weapons, pointing out that they have a very noticeable weight and color difference.
Honorable Judge Regina Chu set the trial for December 6th, saying that “it’s to the benefit of everyone to expedite this case and come to a resolution... as early as possible.” This shooting occurred during the trial of former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin and the two incidents back to back have caused an increased amount of public outrage predominantly from the Liberal Left. Following Wright’s death, protests and civil unrest ensued, agitated by the then ongoing Chauvin trail.