Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office is set to lead the prosecution of Kim Potter, the former police officer charged with fatally shooting Daunte Wright.
Ellison announced Friday his office is taking on the case at the request of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, with the Minnesota attorney general saying he is not doing so “lightly,” Axios reports. This comes after Washington County Attorney Pete Orput returned the case to Freeman’s office, according to The Associated Press.
“Daunte Wright’s death was a tragedy,” Ellison said. “He should not have died on the day that he did. He should not have died the way that he did.”
Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter after fatally shooting Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop in April. The Brooklyn Center Police Department said Potter apparently intended to use her Taser but fired her gun instead, and video showed Potter saying, “Holy s—. I just shot him.”
Wright’s shooting sparked protests amid the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was ultimately convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. Ellison’s office led the prosecution of Chauvin, which Axios notes resulted in a “rare conviction of a police officer.”
“I promise the Wright family and all Minnesotans that I will handle this prosecution responsibly and consistent with the law, and that I will be guided by the values of accountability and transparency,” Ellison said Friday. “No one, however, should expect this case will be easy to prosecute. History shows that this case, like all cases of officer-involved deaths by deadly force, will be difficult.” Brendan Morrow