U.S. protesters rally for third night over killing of Black man

Ruben Fields
April 16, 2021

Many protesters and Wright's family members have rejected that, saying either that they don't believe it or that the incident reflects bias in policing, with Wright stopped for an expired vehicle registration and ending up dead.

Potter shot Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop Sunday while officers were attempting arrest after discovering an outstanding warrant. She was arrested on Tuesday and later freed after posting a 100,000-dollar (£72,000) bond.

The killing of Wright, which sparked days of protests in Minnesota, came during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on charges that he murdered George Floyd.

Local prosecutors said in a statement on Wednesday that, "Certain occupations carry an vast responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer".

Potter's behavior after the shooting, where she said, "Oh s--", could indicate she did not intend to kill Wright, Burke added.

Intent isn't a necessary component of second-degree manslaughter in Minnesota. The charge - which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison - can be applied in circumstances where a person is suspected of causing a death by "culpable negligence" that creates an unreasonable risk and consciously takes chances to cause a death. Potter was due for her initial court appearance Thursday. To prove the second-degree murder charge, attorneys argue "Chauvin caused Floyd's death while committing or trying to commit a felony - in this case, third-degree assault", the Associated Press reported.

A suburban Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot the Black man and the police chief who called the killing an apparent accident resigned on Tuesday in the face of the civil unrest.

The release from the Washington County Attorney's Office also identified the other officer involved in Sunday's stop as Anthony Luckey, who was being trained by Potter at the time. Mayor Mike Elliott has said that the city had been moving toward firing Potter when she submitted her resignation.

The police officers at the scene then tried to arrest him over an outstanding warrant after failing to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June past year.

AP reports that court records show Mr Wright faced allegations from last June that he fled from officers and had a gun without a permit.

Body camera video shows Potter approaching Mr Wright as he stands outside his auto as another officer arrests him. "I said, 'If you grow up, you can be whatever you want to be'".

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Authorities said Potter's Taser was yellow and that she was wearing it in accordance with Brooklyn Center policy, with the Taser holstered on her left side in a "straight-draw position", meaning she would have had to use her left hand to draw the Taser.

Wright family lawyer Ben Crump said "full accountability, to get equal justice" is all the family wants - "nothing more, nothing less".

"Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanour warrant", he said. Potter is a 26-year police veteran who was training other officers when she shot Wright.

Potter, who also resigned, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Potter was an instructor with Brooklyn Center police, according to the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.

Most police departments, including Brooklyn Center, require their officers to carry their Tasers on their nondominant side to help avoid confusion. Some rattled the double chain-link fences around the police headquarters, prompting a warning from law enforcement to "get off the fence!"

Dozens of protesters had gathered in front of the PPA offices, chanting Wright's name and setting off fireworks, Portland-based journalist Suzette Smith said on Twitter.

"Protesters have begun to re-engage and throw objects over the fence, injuring officers and guardsmen with flying debris", OSN tweeted.

Floyd, who died in handcuffs with his neck pinned to the street under Chauvin's knee, became the face of a national movement against racial injustice and police brutality as protests against his killing swept the United States previous year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brooklyn Center, a suburb just north of Minneapolis, has seen its racial demographics shift dramatically in recent years. They often cite the case of Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, who was stopped by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper for driving without a license plate about 90 minutes after the 1995 explosion that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.

However, Elliott has acknowledged that the police force has "very few people of color".

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