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Media Contact: Pete Gamades
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April 14, 2021

Kim Potter charges insufficient

Brooklyn Center, MN— Three days ago, former police officer Kim Potter, a 26 year police veteran, shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man and father of a toddler.  Earlier today, Washington County Attorney announced he would only bring 2nd-degree manslaughter charges against Potter. However, manslaughter charges are insufficient in this case. The body-worn camera footage and the circumstances surrounding this case warrant murder charges.

Body camera footage revealed that Potter had her gun out and pointed at Wright for several seconds before shooting Mr. Wright. Additionally, Potter had her gun on her right side and her taser on her left side. There is also a substantial weight difference between a gun and a taser. Not only was Kim Potter a 26 year veteran on the force, she was a training officer and the president of the police union. Shooting and killing Mr. Wright was not an accident and the charges should reflect that.

“Kim Potter needs to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law for the brutal, reckless, and unnecessary killing of Daunte Wright, just as a civilian would be held accountable and charged with murder under similar circumstances. In fact, Potter’s years of firearms and tactical training and experience should result in her being held to a higher standard than the average person. Daunte Wright was racially-profiled, treated like a threat, and dehumanized by Potter because he was a young Black man. If he had been a young white man, none of this would have ever happened, ” said Nekima Levy Armstrong, Attorney and founder of the Racial Justice Network.

“Potter’s actions indicated a history of this behavior which suggests habit rather than “accident”,  notes Jessica Marshik, member of the Racial Justice Network. Marshik continues: “In the fight to combat white supremacy, it is imperative that the state of Minnesota hold white officers accountable for their racist, irrational fear and deadly actions.”

We demand Washington County bring stronger charges of 3rd-degree murder and 2nd-degree manslaughter; comparable to those in the case of former officer, Mohammed Noor (a Black Muslim, convicted of killing Justine Ruszczyk-Damond, an affluent white woman). We also reiterate the need for Governor Tim Walz to appoint a special prosecutor in this and all cases of police killings.

The Racial Justice Network (RJN) is a multi-racial, grassroots organization, committed to fighting for racial justice and building bridges across racial, social, and economic lines.