Minnesota officer to face manslaughter charge over shooting of black motorist

14 April 2021, 17:46 | Updated: 14 April 2021, 18:22

The shooting of Daunte Wright by a white officer led to protests
The shooting of Daunte Wright by a white officer led to protests. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

A white former police officer who fatally shot black motorist Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in Minnesota is to be charged with manslaughter.

Kim Potter is due to face a second-degree manslaughter charge after the incident in Minneapolis, which led to days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police.

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

Potter resigned from the Brooklyn Centre Police Department, where she had served for 26 years, yesterday, as did police chief Tim Gannon.

Read more: Officer who 'accidentally' shot and killed black man 'meant to use Taser'

He had released Potter's body camera video the day after the shooting, which showed the ex-officer approach 20-year-old Mr Wright as he stood outside his car.

He was pulled over for having expired registration tags and an officer was arresting him for an outstanding warrant.

Potter is heard to shout "I'll Tase you" as Mr Wright struggles with police, before firing a shot from her handgun.

Mr Gannon said he believed Potter may have mistakenly grabbed her gun instead of her Taser, but protesters and Mr Wright's family say there is no excuse for the shooting, and demonstrates the justice system is tilted against black people.

The decision to charge, taken by Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, comes as the defence case in the prosecution of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd continues.