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Agent Who Killed Wright Charged With Reckless Manslaughter

The ex-police officer who this weekend killed the 20-year-old African-American Daunte Wright in Minnesota (United States) was arrested this Wednesday and charged with a crime of reckless murder .

The arrest of Kimberly Potter, who is white and has been with the Brooklyn Center Police Department (a suburb of Minneapolis) for 26 years, comes a day after her resignation from the body and after three nights of clashes and protests in the city.

Potter is being held at the Hennepin County Jail pending a first hearing at which a judge could set his bond. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn Center, police have fortified Potter’s family home by surrounding it with a fence and concrete barriers against possible protests.

The reckless manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail in Minnesota; Although Potter lacks a record, if she is convicted, the sentence could be considerably less. The imputation of this crime seems to indicate that the Prosecutor’s Office agrees with the police version that Wright’s death was accidental when Potter confused his taser pistol, the one he really intended to use, with his regulation weapon.

The Wrights’ attorney, Ben Crump, who often represents the families of African-Americans killed by the police in the United States such as George Floyd or Breonna Taylor in their multi-million dollar civil lawsuits, noted that he “appreciates that prosecutors seek justice for Daunte, but no condemnation will return to this family its loved one “.

“This was not an accident. This was an illegal, intentional and deliberate use of force … someone with 26 years of experience in the corps knows the difference between a taser and a firearm, ” Crump added.

Hours after Wright’s death this Sunday, the Brooklyn Center Police released the images from the agent’s body camera, in which a female voice, belonging to Potter, is heard repeating the word “taser” three times before pull the trigger. Then the same voice exclaims, “Shit, I just shot him,” as the car driven by a mortally wounded Wright drives away before crashing.

That happened moments after Wright managed to get away from the police who were trying to stop him at a checkpoint when he realized that the young man, who orphaned a 2-year-old son, had arrest warrants against him.

Wright’s death occurred in a city – Minneapolis – with heated spirits since another white cop, Derek Chauvin, killed George Floyd in May last year , sparking a huge movement of racial protests across the country. that put the then government of Donald Trump on the ropes.

Precisely, the trial against Chauvin is in its final stretch in Minneapolis after having entered its third week with the turn of the witnesses called by the defense of the ex-policeman .

A retired coroner testified Wednesday that he believes that Floyd died of a “cardiac arrhythmia,” contradicting versions heard by prosecution testimonies that pointed to a “cardiopulmonary arrest” caused by the pressure exerted on his neck by Chauvin’s knee.

“In my opinion, Floyd had a sudden cardiac arrhythmia due to his atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease during his immobilization and subjection by the police,” said former forensic David Fowler.

One of the main arguments of Chauvin’s lawyers is that Floyd’s death was not the fault of the pressure that the ex-agent exerted on the victim’s neck, but that it had to do with his hypertension, opiate use and stress from the time of arrest.

Chauvin was fired from the Minneapolis Police and during the trial is charged with the crimes of second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree murder, the latter the same as Potter’s. If convicted of the most serious of these crimes, he could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

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