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Officer convicted of manslaughter in Taser mix-up

Kim Potter testifies at her trial on Friday. Associated Press/Court TV

Officer convicted of manslaughter in Taser mix-up

After deliberating for almost four days, a jury in Minneapolis agreed with prosecutors that former officer Kim Potter caused 20-year-old Daunte Wright’s death through recklessness. The jury convicted her of first- and second-degree manslaughter, which could put her in prison for up to 15 years.

What happened to Wright? Potter, a 49-year-old veteran of the suburban Brooklyn Center police force, pulled over Wright on April 11 for having expired license tags and an air freshener on his rearview mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota. The officers discovered Wright had a warrant for his arrest on a weapons possession charge and tried to take him into custody. He attempted to drive away. Potter said she feared Wright would hurt another officer who was leaning into the passenger side door of the vehicle. She attempted to use her Taser to stun him, but she mistakenly grabbed her gun and shot him. The shooting sparked violent protests outside the Brooklyn Center police station for several nights in April as former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin stood trial in the death of George Floyd.

Dig deeper: Read Sharon Dierberger’s report about how Minneapolis pastors responded to the protests that followed Wright’s death.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is WORLD’s executive editor for news. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kan.


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