MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will lead the prosecution against Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer accused in the shooting death of Daunte Wright.
Potter is charged with second-degree manslaughter in Wright’s death on April 11.READ MORE: Lawsuit Alleges Daunte Wright Carjacked, Assaulted Man 3 Weeks Before His Death
The killing of a Black man by a white police officer ignited another round of protests and calls for reform in a city still reeling from the murder of George Floyd last May.
At the end of June of 2020, the Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington County Attorneys agreed not to review or prosecute cases to do with police use of deadly force in their jurisdictions.
After the Washington County Attorney’s Office charged Potter, they returned the case to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who in turn asked Ellison to oversee the prosecution.
“Daunte Wright was a son, a brother, a father, a friend,” said Ellison. “I did not seek this prosecution and do not accept it lightly.”
Wright, 20, was killed during a traffic stop that police say was for expired tabs. The Brooklyn Center police chief, who has since resigned, said he believed Potter was trying to reach for her Taser when instead she fired her gun.READ MORE: Trial Set In December For Kim Potter, Former Officer Charged In Daunte Wright Shooting
He was killed roughly 10 miles away from the Hennepin County Government Center, where the Derek Chauvin trial was underway, and the country was watching a case which had set off a national reckoning over police reform and racial justice.
Ellison too had taken over the prosecution for Chauvin’s trial after Gov. Tim Walz appointed him as the lead prosecutor last May.
Nine days after Wright’s death, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder and manslaughter, as well as third-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, who was the presenting attorney in Chauvin’s trial, will supervise Wright’s case, and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office will provide staff to assist Ellison’s team.
“Once again, we in Minnesota find ourselves at a moment where a deadly-force encounter with police has galvanized our grief and focused our attention. If prosecutors ensure that prosecutions are vigorous and swift, if legislators at every level pass long-overdue reforms, if police leadership demonstrates misconduct has no place in the profession, and if community continues to keep up the cry for justice, we will break the cycle of history and establish a new standard for justice,” Ellison added.
Walz added that he was grateful that Ellison was taking over the case.MORE NEWS: Brooklyn Center Passes Sweeping Public Safety Resolution To Reform Policing
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