Attorney General Keith Ellison Ups The Charges Against Officer Who Shot, Killed Daunte Wright

(Photo by Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a decision to up the charges against former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter, the officer involved in the shooting and death of Daunte Wright.

Ellison announced Thursday that Minnesota prosecutors will add a first-degree manslaughter charge on top of the second-degree manslaughter charge Potter already faces, according to Fox News. Potter shot the 20-year-old Wright in April during a traffic stop.

In his announcement of the added charge, Ellison claimed the decision “constitutes the entirety of the Attorney General’s Office’s public comment,” according to Fox News. Ellison and state prosecutors took over the case from the Washington County attorney back in May and subsequently conducted its own investigation, which resulted in the additional charge, Fox News reported.

Footage from Potter’s bodycam shows that Wright managed to break free from police officers who had pulled his hands behind his back in the process of detainment. The 20-year-old then jumped in the driver’s seat of his car, put the car in gear, and attempted to speed off.

Before Wright started driving away, Potter yelled, “Taser! Taser!” Instead of brandishing her taser, she pulled out her handgun and shot Wright at point-blank range, which investigators reportedly claim was a mistake. However, Wright’s lawyers argue that a properly trained officer should know the difference between holding a pistol and a taser, Fox News noted.

After Potter shot Wright, Write started driving off, but crashed his vehicle and the episode concluded in his death and an injured passenger. Potter eventually resigned due to the incident.

Prior to his death, Wright was charged with robbery after he allegedly demanded money from a woman at gunpoint. Wright then violated the terms of his release when he allegedly brandished a handgun near an intersection, but was able to escape officers who responded to the alleged threat by disposing of the firearm and fleeing on foot, Fox News reported.

When officers pulled Wright over in April, they discovered the outstanding warrant for his arrest and attempted to arrest him, leading to the violent interaction between Wright and police, according to Fox News. (RELATED: Rep. Cori Bush Says Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright Would’ve Known The Difference Between A Gun And Taser If He ‘Wasn’t A Black Boy’)

Two people have also filed civil lawsuits against Wright’s estate. Caleb Livingston was allegedly shot in the head by Wright in 2019 and has been in a “vegetative state” since, Fox News reported. The other, Joshua Hodges, reportedly claims that Wright and another person shot him in the leg and stole his vehicle.