Former officer Kim Potter makes first court appearance in Daunte Wright killing

Prosecutors will try to show that Kim Potter, 48, was "culpably negligent" and took an "unreasonable risk" in shooting Wright after pulling him over for expired license plates in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on Sunday, April 11.

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Kimberly Potter booking photo, Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

MINNEAPOLIS — The former Minnesota police officer charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright , a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop made her first court appearance on Thursday, April 15, as Wright's family called for "full accountability" for his death.

Kim Potter , wearing a plaid shirt, confirmed her presence during a brief online hearing and waved to the judge from a table in her lawyer's office. Potter, 48, was not asked any questions about the shooting or her intended plea.

Hennepin County Judge Paul Scoggin set the next court date for May 17 and ordered Potter, who is out on a $100,000 bond, not to use firearms or explosives for the duration of her case.

In charging Potter with second-degree manslaughter, prosecutors will try to show that she was "culpably negligent" and took an "unreasonable risk" in shooting Wright after pulling him over for expired license plates in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on Sunday, April 11.

If convicted, Potter, who is white, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.


Potter's lawyer, Earl Gray, did not respond to a request for comment.


  • Ex-officer Kim Potter to be charged with manslaughter in shooting death of Daunte Wright The former Brooklyn Center officer will be charged with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
  • Police chief and officer who shot Daunte Wright resign; charges could come Wednesday Kim Potter, a Brooklyn Center officer for 26 years, was put on administrative leave after she shot Wright on Sunday afternoon, April 11. Pressure has been growing for officials to terminate Potter.

Potter was taken into custody by agents of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Wednesday. She was released hours later after posting $100,000 bond.
Prior to the hearing, the Wright family and their lawyers gathered at the church in Minneapolis where his funeral will be held April 22 to remember the father of a 2-year-old son and press for an aggressive prosecution of Potter.

"The last few days, everybody has asked me what do we want to see happen," Wright's mother Katie Wright said. "I do want accountability, 100% accountability. ... But even when that happens, if that happens, we're still going to bury our son."

Police video of the shooting shows Potter threatening to stun Wright with her Taser before firing her handgun. Former Police Chief Tim Gannon , who also resigned on Tuesday, said she mistakenly used her service weapon instead of her Taser.

In the video, Potter can be heard shouting: "Taser, Taser, Taser!" as she draws her weapon and opens fire on Wright in his car after he had just pulled away from a fellow officer.

She is then is heard saying: "Holy s---, I just shot him."


Aubrey and Katie Wright, the parents of Daunte Wright, take part in a news conference with attorney Ben Crump Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Minneapolis in response to the charges against former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, who shot and killed Wright days ago in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

Benjamin Crump, lawyer for the Wright family, said the shooting reflected a broader problem of law enforcement in the United States using excessive force and having a propensity to "overpolice marginalized minorities, especially Black men."

But Crump said the move to charge Potter also represented some progress following the lack of prosecutions of officers involved in the deaths of Black men such as Eric Garner and Michael Brown in recent years.

"All this family is striving for is to get full accountability, get equal justice. Nothing more and nothing less," Crump told the briefing at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church.

The shooting escalated tensions in a region already on edge over the ongoing murder trial of white former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man.

Hundreds of protesters massed outside Brooklyn Center police headquarters for a fourth night on Wednesday. About two dozen people were arrested on charges including curfew violations. The protests were smaller and more peaceful than Tuesday night, when 72 people were arrested, police said.

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