Recorded on video mistaking her gun for a Taser before fatally shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a former Minneapolis police officer was convicted Thursday of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter.
On April 11, 2021, Minneapolis police officers pulled over Wright for a traffic violation. The officers decided to arrest Wright after learning that he had an open arrest warrant for failing to appear in court on a misdemeanor weapons violation for carrying a gun without a permit.
According to police body cam video, the officers attempted to cuff Wright’s hands behind his back when he resisted arrest by entering the vehicle and trying to escape. While aiming her firearm at Wright, Officer Kim Potter threatened to fire her Taser at him before fatally shooting him in the chest by mistake.
After the gunshot, Wright’s vehicle traveled a few hundred feet when it collided into another vehicle. Wright’s girlfriend, who was a passenger inside the car, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Initially placed on administrative leave, Potter resigned from the department on April 13. The next day, she was charged with manslaughter.
On Thursday, the jury found Potter guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. She was taken into custody and held without bail.
“Justice would be restoring Daunte to life and making the Wright family whole again,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told reporters outside the courthouse. “Justice is beyond the reach that we have in this life for Daunte. But accountability is an important step, a critical necessary step on the road to justice for us all.”
Potter is currently scheduled to be sentenced on February 18.