Sunday, September 26News That Matters

Ex-officer charged to appear in court Thursday

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput issued a news release Wednesday afternoon which included a summary of the criminal complaint filed against former Brooklyn Center Police Officer, Kimberly Potter, who fatally shot Daunte Wright.

In the release, Orput said Potter was a field training officer when she and another officer pulled over Daunte Wright in a white Buick on Sunday afternoon. The officer training with Potter, Anthony Luckey, determined Wright had a warrant for a gross misdemeanor weapons charge, according to the release.

Wright, Potter and Luckey were outside the Buick’s driver side door when Luckey told Wright he was being arrested for the outstanding warrant, according to the complaint cited in the release.

“Both Wright and Officer Luckey were standing just outside of the driver’s side door, which was open, and Potter was standing behind and to the right of the other officer. At 2:01:49, Wright pulled away from the officers and got back into the driver’s seat of his car, with Officer Luckey trying to maintain physical control of Wright,” according to the criminal complaint.

After saying she would tase Wright, she instead “pulled her Glock 9mm handgun with her right hand and pointed it at Wright, saying again that she would tase him,” the news release states. Potter said “Taser, Taser, Taser,” pulled the trigger on her handgun, and fired one round into Wright’s left side of the victim, according to the complaint cited in the news release.

Wright immediately said, “ah, he shot me,” and drove away before crashing into another vehicle. Wright was pronounced dead at the scene, as mentioned in previous CNN reporting. 

After firing her gun, Potter said “Sh**, I just shot him!” 

“A Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator examined Potter’s duty belt and saw that the handgun is holstered on the right side of the belt and her Taser is on the left side. The grips or handles of both the gun and Taser face Potter’s rear. The Taser is yellow with a black grip. Also, the Taser is set in a straight-draw position, meaning Potter would have to use her left hand to pull the Taser out of its holster,” according to the release. 

Wright’s death was ruled a homicide on Monday, and Potter was arrested and charged with second degree manslaughter in the killing of Wright earlier in the day Wednesday.

“Certain occupations carry an immense responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer,” Imran Ali, Washington County assistant criminal division chief and director of the Major Crime Unit said in the release. “With that responsibility comes a great deal of discretion and accountability. We will vigorously prosecute this case and intend to prove that Officer Potter abrogated her responsibility to protect the public when she used her firearm rather than her taser. Her action caused the unlawful killing of Mr. Wright and she must be held accountable. County Attorney Peter Orput and I met with the family, expressed our deepest sympathies and assured them we would spare no resources in seeking justice for Mr. Wright.” 

The Washington County Attorney’s Office say they will not be holding a news conference, and the full criminal complaint was not included in the release.