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Washington County Attorney Pete Orput on Wednesday said he is filing a second-degree manslaughter charge against former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.
Agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting, arrested Potter at 11:30 a.m. She will be booked into the Hennepin County Jail, the BCA said.
Wright, 20, was shot and killed during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb on Sunday. Brooklyn Center’s police chief, who has since resigned, along with Potter, on Monday said Wright’s killing was an accident.
Former Chief Tim Gannon said that Potter, a 26-year police veteran, had intended to stun the man with her Taser gun but accidentally drew her handgun instead and fired once.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Wright died by a single shot to the chest and ruled the death a homicide.
The second-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and comes after a third night of unrest in Brooklyn Center.
Police used flash-bang grenades, ceramic marking rounds and tear gas to clear hundreds of protesters Tuesday night.
Hundreds gathered again at the city’s police station, guarded by the State Patrol and National Guard, calling for justice for Wright.
About 90 minutes before a 10 p.m. curfew, police began ordering the crowds to disperse, warning that anyone who didn’t leave would be arrested.
Police said the dispersal order came before the curfew because some protesters were trying to take down the fencing around the police station and throwing bottles and bricks.
At a midnight news briefing, the State Patrol said there were more than 60 arrests.
Mayor wants AG Ellison to handle Wright case
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott has called for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to handle the case. Ellison’s office is currently focused on prosecuting ex-Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who is on trial now in the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.
Wright was stopped by police at around 2 p.m. Sunday as he was driving in a residential neighborhood.
Brooklyn Center police said in an earlier statement that officers discovered “an outstanding warrant” and tried to take him into custody, when he got back into his car. Gannon on Monday noted the registration tabs on the license plates were expired, although it wasn’t clear if that was the initial reason for the stop. Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, who was on the phone with her son during the stop, said Tuesday her son told her he was stopped because of an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror.
Footage played Monday by the chief showed officers taking Wright into custody by the car but Wright gets away from their grip and back into the driver’s seat as a struggle ensues.
Potter can be heard yelling “Taser! Taser! Taser!” to alert her fellow officers that she plans to stun Wright. But she’s holding her handgun when she fires.
Wright managed to drive off but crashed into another vehicle several blocks away.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.