Daunte Wright shooting: Police officer Kim Potter to get fast-tracked trial over deadly shooting

Judge wants December trial over killing of Black motorist during traffic stop

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 17 May 2021 20:41

Former Officer Kim Potter Makes First Court Appearance

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Minnesota police officer Kim Potter will get a fast-tracked trial over the Daunte Wright shooting, a judge has ruled.

The former police officer appeared with her lawyer, Earl Gray, on a Zoom hearing in which a judge found probable cause to support the charge against her and for the case to continue.

District Court Judge Regina Chu told Ms Potter that she wanted the trial to go ahead on 6 December.

“I think it is to the benefit of everyone to try and expedite this case and come to a resolution at trial as quickly as possible,” said the Hennepin County judge.

And she added: “My goal is to try and keep that 6 December trial date if we all possibly can.”

Ms Potter, who quit her job as a Brooklyn Center police officer in the wake of the killing of Mr Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, spoke only to confirm she was happy for the hearing to go ahead on Zoom rather than in person.

Prosecutor Imran Ali told the hearing that the state intended to apply for the trial to go ahead with audio and visual coverage.

Ms Potter’s lawyer replied that they would contest that application, which will likely be heard by the judge at a hearing in July.

Judge Chu started the hearing by extending her condolences to the friends and family of Mr Wright, who died after being shot by Ms Potter during a traffic stop on 11 April.

Ms Potter, who is white, appeared in court for the first time since 15 April.

She had been a police officer for 26 years before the killing and is currently free on bail.

The former Brooklyn Center police chief said at a press conference the day after the killing that Ms Potter had intended to use her Taser weapon on Mr Wright but accidentally pulled out and fired her handgun.

Body camera video shows her shouting “Taser” multiple times before firing and the killing led to several days of unrest in the suburban Minneapolis area.

Mr Wright’s family have publicly said that they wanted prosecutors to charge Ms Potter with murder.

But instead she faces charges of second-degree manslaughter, which in Minnesota carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The City of Brooklyn Center was working towards firing Ms Potter when she resigned, having seen the resignation of the police chief and having fired the city manager.