Kimberly Potter , the police officer who fatally shot young black Daunte Wright on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, and who resigned yesterday , was arrested this Wednesday and has been charged with negligent murder in the second degree, a charge that in the state carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Potter, a 26-year veteran , killed Wright, who had been arrested for a minor traffic violation , by shooting him in the chest with her firearm . That action was initially described by the local police chief, who also resigned that Tuesday, as an ” accidental discharge ” in which the police had mistaken his firearm for his electric shock taser .
Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing the Wright family, has issued a statement celebrating the announcement of charges against Porter. The text ensures that what happened ” was not an accident ” but “an intentional, deliberate and illegal use of force .” The statement also assures that ” driving while black continues to result in a death sentence ” and affirms that “a veteran with 26 years in the body knows the difference between a taser and a firearm.”
As the local newspaper ‘Star Tribune’ recalls, it is at least the third time that a law enforcement officer in the United States has faced criminal charges for killing someone in what was allegedly a confusion between a pistol and a Taser.
In 2009 an Oakland police officer who killed Oscar Grant III was sentenced to two years in prison , a case captured in the movie ‘Fruitvale Station’ . In 2015, a 73-year-old police volunteer in Oklahoma was charged with the death of Eric Harris.
Third day of protests
Wright’s death has sparked three days of protests in the Brooklyn Center and the Minneapolis area, with clashes between hundreds of protesters and the police and national guard and some episodes of looting, rallies that resulted in more than 60 people arrested.
Already existing tension has soared as the trial of Derek Chauvin , the former white policeman accused of murdering George Floyd in May last year , a black man whose agonizing lethal arrest, captured on video, sparked a wave of protests. in the US against racial injustice and police brutality.
Chauvin, who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds while he was already handcuffed and lying face down on the asphalt also faces a charge of negligent murder in the second degree, but in his case he is also indicted on two counts. most serious second and third degree murder .