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Sun, 04.11.2021

Daunte Wright Is Killed By The Police

*On this date in 2021, Daunte Wright, another young Black man, was fatally shot by police.

Officer Kimberly Ann Potter killed him during a traffic stop and attempted arrest for an outstanding arrest warrant in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. After a brief struggle with officers, Wright was shot and then drove off but crashed his vehicle into another and hit a concrete barrier. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Daunte Demetrius Wright was a 20-year-old Black man from Minneapolis. At the time of his death, Wright had a son who was almost two years old.

Potter, a white-American woman, is a 48-year-old police officer in the Brooklyn Center Police Department. She had worked for the department since 1995. Potter, a field training officer, was training a new officer at the time of the incident. Wright's girlfriend was sitting in the passenger's seat of the vehicle. Besides Potter, two other Brooklyn Center police officers participated in the traffic stop. The following day, police said that Potter meant to use her Taser but accidentally grabbed her gun instead, striking Wright with one shot to his chest.

Two days later, Potter and Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon resigned from their positions and Potter fled her home after her address was leaked on social media. On April 14, Potter was arrested, charged with second-degree manslaughter, booked into the Hennepin County Jail, and released on $100,000 bail. The shooting sparked Black Lives Matter and other protests in Brooklyn Center and renewed ongoing demonstrations against police brutality in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, leading to citywide and regional curfews. Demonstrations have also spread to cities across the United States.

Potter was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter on December 23, 2021, at a jury trial in Hennepin County. On February 18, 2022, she was sentenced to two years in prison, with credit for time served. The events led to several police reforms in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, and several other states.

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