Minnesota AG's office to prosecute case in Wright's death | www.WDIO.com

Minnesota AG's office to prosecute case in Wright's death

Kim Potter Kim Potter |  Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff

AMY FORLITI Associated Press
Updated: May 21, 2021 02:40 PM
Created: May 21, 2021 12:59 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says his office will lead the prosecution of a former suburban police officer who is charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright. Former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter, who is white, fatally shot Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist, on April 11.

The city’s police chief, who has since stepped down, had said he believed Potter meant to use her Taser instead of her handgun.

Ellison made the announcement Friday, at the request of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Attorney General Ellison released the following statement:  
 
Daunte Wright was a son, a brother, a father, a friend. When he died, he was only 20 years old. He had his whole life ahead of him.  
Daunte Wright’s death was a tragedy. He should not have died on the day that he did. He should not have died the way that he did. His parents, brothers, sisters, and friends must now live the rest of their lives without him. His son, only two years old, will grow up without his father. I have privately expressed my condolences and sorrow to the family and expect to work with them closely throughout the proceedings. 
 
The community of Brooklyn Center and people across Minnesota also continue to grieve Daunte’s death. I join them in that grieving. His death is a loss to all of us. 
 
I did not seek this prosecution and do not accept it lightly. I have had, and continue to have, confidence in how both County Attorney Orput and County Attorney Freeman have handled this case to date. I thank County Attorney Orput for the solid work he and his office have done, and I thank County Attorney Freeman once again for his confidence in my office. I appreciate their partnership as my office takes the lead on this case.  
 
Prosecutors are ministers of justice. This means we must and will follow justice wherever it leads. 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.  
 
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.  
 
We are not destined to repeat history. Once again, we in Minnesota find ourselves at a moment where a deadly-force encounter with police has galvanized our grief and focused our attention. If prosecutors ensure that prosecutions are vigorous and swift, if legislators at every level pass long-overdue reforms, if police leadership demonstrates misconduct has no place in the profession, and if community continues to keep up the cry for justice, we will break the cycle of history and establish a new standard for justice. 

 

Another prosecutor in Washington County had been handling the case, but returned it back to Freeman’s office. Protesters had been calling for Ellison to take the case for weeks.

Credits

AMY FORLITI Associated Press

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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