Charges against Minnesota cop Kimberly Potter are UPGRADED to first-degree manslaughter over killing of Daunte Wright

 Minnesota prosecutors filed a more serious charge Thursday against the Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, but it is not the murder charge that activists were seeking.

Minnesota police officer faces a new first-degree manslaughter charge for the killing of Daunte Wright, 20, after the attorney general reviewed her case with an expert on Thursday, but it wasn't the murder charge activists were seeking. 

Wright, 20, was killed by Potter during a traffic stop after he resisted arrest and she threatened to taser him. 

She actually fired a gun at Wright and the bullet hit him in the chest. She has since claimed she grabbed the wrong weapon - her gun was holstered on her right side, while the taser was on her left.

Former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter is now charged with first-degree manslaughter, in addition to a prior charge of second-degree manslaughter.  

Activists had demanded a murder charge during protests in Brooklyn Center and outside a metro-area prosecutor's home before Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison took over the case.

Potter has claimed that she meant to use her taser instead of her handgun when she fatally shot Wright on April 11. 

Kim Potter (pictured), who has already been charged with second-degree manslaughter, has been given an additional first-degree manslaughter charge by new attorney general for her involvement in the death of Daunte Wright, 20

Kim Potter (pictured), who has already been charged with second-degree manslaughter, has been given an additional first-degree manslaughter charge by new attorney general for her involvement in the death of Daunte Wright, 20

Wright supposedly resisted arrest by getting back into the driver's seat when Luckey tried to arrest him, which prompted Potter to threaten to tase him

Wright supposedly resisted arrest by getting back into the driver's seat when Luckey tried to arrest him, which prompted Potter to threaten to tase him 

Daunte Wright is shot after officer mistakes gun for taser
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The amended complaint alleges Potter committed first-degree manslaughter by recklessly handling a firearm and endangering the safety of another when death or great bodily harm was reasonably foreseeable. 

The second-degree manslaughter count alleged she acted with culpable negligence and took an unreasonable risk when she consciously took a chance of causing death or great bodily harm with a firearm.

First-degree manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 15 years while second-degree manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, though state sentencing guidelines call for much less.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput initially handled the case under an agreement signed last year in which metro-area prosecutors said they would take each other's cases involving a person's death after an officer uses force. 

In the video, Potter is seen firing her handgun at Wright after shouting 'Taser'

In the video, Potter is seen firing her handgun at Wright after shouting 'Taser'

Police body cam footage shows three officers approaching Wright's car in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 11 after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop

Police body cam footage shows three officers approaching Wright's car in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 11 after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop

Wright was pulled over by Potter and her trainee Andrew Luckey for expired license tags and for having an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror in April
He had an outstanding warrant for his arrest

Wright (pictured) was pulled over by Potter and her trainee Andrew Luckey for expired license tags and for having an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror in April. He had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, according to court documents 

After Orput charged Potter with manslaughter, he came under intense pressure from activists, but continued to say the case did not warrant a murder charge, as protesters held demonstrations outside his home.

When Ellison's office took over Potter's prosecution in May, he said he would conduct a thorough review to determine whether additional charges should be filed. 

Ellison said Thursday that after this review, which included consulting with an expert in police use of force, he concluded an upgraded charge of first-degree manslaughter was warranted.

Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and an activist on issues of police violence, said Wright's family told him Wednesday that the new charge was coming, and that they were 'obviously disappointed' that it fell short of murder.

Potter (pictured) was given the first-degree manslaughter charge after her case was reviewed by a new attorney general and an expert. Activists protested outside the home of the previous attorney general and were disappointed when she was awarded a murder charge

Potter (pictured) was given the first-degree manslaughter charge after her case was reviewed by a new attorney general and an expert. Activists protested outside the home of the previous attorney general and were disappointed when she was awarded a murder charge 

Potter (pictured in a drawing from court) told Wright 'I'll tase ya' as she pointed her gun at him

Potter (pictured in a drawing from court) told Wright 'I'll tase ya' as she pointed her gun at him

Potter (pictured back right in a courtroom sketch) fired the weapon once, striking Wright in the chest and the cartridge hitting Luckey's face, according to bodycam footage

Potter (pictured back right in a courtroom sketch) fired the weapon once, striking Wright in the chest and the cartridge hitting Luckey's face, according to bodycam footage 

Local defense attorney Joe Friedberg, who is not connected to the case, said the facts of the case didn't merit a murder charge, and the upgraded manslaughter charge 'doesn't fit here at all.' 

He said the language on which the new charge is based is normally used when someone commits a misdemeanor that happens to result in death, such as when someone punches someone who falls down, hits their head and dies.

'How can you intend to commit a reckless act? I don't know. I'm sorry, that's a political move,' he said. 'This case is either second-degree manslaughter or it's nothing.'

According to the new criminal complaint, Potter was training another officer, Andrew Luckey, when they pulled over Wright. 

Luckey told Wright he was being stopped because he had an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror - it is illegal in Minnesota to have anything suspended between the driver and the windshield, beside rearview mirrors and sun visors - and because his license tags were expired. 

Luckey went back to his squad car and found that Wright had an arrest warrant for a gross misdemeanor weapons violation. 

Luckey asked Wright to get out of the car, and as Luckey was trying to arrest him, Wright got back into the driver's seat, the complaint said. 

A memorial was held in Minneapolis for Wright in April. The shooting happened while Minneapolis was still deep into Derek Chauvin’s trial for the killing of George Floyd

A memorial was held in Minneapolis for Wright in April. The shooting happened while Minneapolis was still deep into Derek Chauvin’s trial for the killing of George Floyd

As Luckey kept a grip on Wright, Potter said 'I'll tase ya,' and moved a piece of paper that she had taken from Wright from her own right hand into her left hand. One second later, Potter's right hand can be seen in her body camera video, holding her handgun.

The complaint told Potter again said, 'I'll tase you' and 'Taser, Taser, Taser' while she pointed her gun at Wright. 

She then pulled the trigger, firing a single round that struck Wright in the chest.

The complaint says Potter was outside Wright's car door when she fired, and her handgun was inches below Luckey's arm. 

A cartridge casing appeared to hit Luckey in the face. 

On the body camera video, Potter is heard saying she grabbed the wrong gun.

The complaint said Potter's duty belt shows her handgun was holstered on the right side in a straight-draw position, which would have required she use her right hand to draw it, and her Taser was holstered on her left, in a position which would have required her to use her left hand to draw it.

The Taser is yellow with a black grip, the handgun is entirely black. 

Potter claimed she meant to tase Wright and can be heard in body cam footage yelling about a Taser. A Taser is black and yellow in design compared to a gun, which is all black

Potter claimed she meant to tase Wright and can be heard in body cam footage yelling about a Taser. A Taser is black and yellow in design compared to a gun, which is all black 

The Taser is located on the left hip, while the gun is positioned on the right

The Taser is located on the left hip, while the gun is positioned on the right 

The two weapons also have distinct grips and the Taser has a manual safety switch and a laser-sighting feature. The complaint said Potter had substantial training on Tasers and firearms during her 26 years as a police officer. That training included two Taser-specific courses in the six months prior to Wright's death.

Potter is scheduled to go to trial on November 30 and it will not be broadcasted to the public. 

A message left with Potter's attorney and Wright's mother, but was not immediately returned.

At the time of Wright's shootings, which was a few miles outside of downtown Minneapolis, the city was knee-deep in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the killing of George Floyd. 

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 22.5 years for killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck after police were called on Floyd for allegedly buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. 

Minneapolis police have also recently rolled out a new policy change where police will no longer pull drivers over for minor violations, such as an air fresher on the rearview mirror or expired tags.  

Charges against Minnesota cop Kimberly Potter are UPGRADED to first-degree manslaughter over killing of Daunte Wright Charges against Minnesota cop Kimberly Potter are UPGRADED to first-degree manslaughter over killing of Daunte Wright Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 10:00 Rating: 5

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