AG Ellison to lead prosecution in Brooklyn Center police assassination
MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will take charge of the manslaughter case against former Brooklyn Center cop Kim Potter. Potter, 48, is charged with second degree manslaughter in the deadly shooting of Daunte Wright in April.
The charge against Potter was filed by Washington County District Attorney Pete Orput. Potter’s case was initially handled by the Washington County District Attorney’s Office after the case was transferred by Hennepin County to avoid any conflict of interest.
Orput and Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman called Ellison to take the case.
“I have not sought this lawsuit and I do not accept it lightly,” Ellison said in a statement Friday.
“I have had and continue to have confidence in the way the Orput County District Attorney and Freeman County District Attorney have handled this case to date. I thank the Orput County District Attorney for the hard work he and his office have done. have accomplished, and I thank County Attorney Freeman once again for his confidence in my office. I appreciate their partnership as my office takes the lead in this matter. “
Ellison’s decision to take the case comes weeks after his office’s successful pursuit of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter on April 20.
Wright’s death occurred during Chauvin’s trial.
“I believe that the review and prosecution of this case and cases like this rests with the Attorney General, and I call on the legislature to provide all the funding necessary for his office to do this job,” Orput said. .
“I’m happy that Attorney General Ellison is taking the case,” Gov. Tim Walz said.
“The First Lady and I were grateful to welcome the Wright family to the residence this week and to have the opportunity to honor the memory of their son Daunte. We heard their desire to have the most legal team. strong potential to bring justice to their family. No verdict will bring Daunte back to her family, but I have no doubts that Attorney General Ellison will be the best team possible to take responsibility for what transpired on that tragic day. “
Context of the case
Just before 2 p.m. on April 11, Brooklyn Center police officer Anthony Luckey and his field training officer Potter stopped a white Buick at 63rd Avenue North and Orchard Avenue North in Brooklyn Center, according to a press release from Orput’s office.
Luckey verified Wright’s identity and found that he had a warrant for a serious weapons misdemeanor charge. Luckey and Potter approached the driver’s side of the car and asked Wright to come out and place his hands behind his back.
Wright did so and Luckey told him he was arrested on his pending tenure, authorities said.
While outside the car, Wright walked away from the officers and climbed back into the driver’s seat of his car. Luckey struggled with Wright and tried to maintain physical control over him, investigators said.
At 14:01:49Wright walked away from the officers and climbed back into the driver’s seat of his car, with Officer Luckey trying to maintain physical control of Wright, authorities said.
At 2:01:55 p.m., Potter said she would hit Wright before removing her Glock 9mm handgun with her right hand, authorities said. She pointed it at Wright and again said she would hit him, investigators said.
At 2:02 p.m., Potter said “Taser, Taser, Taser” and pulled the trigger on his handgun at 2:02:01, firing a shot at Wright’s left side, authorities said.
Wright yelled “ah, he shot me”, and the car sped a short distance before crashing into another car. An ambulance was called and Wright died at the scene, investigators said.
Wright died of a gunshot wound and the death was declared a homicide by the Hennepin County medical examiner.
After firing his gun, Potter said “curse, I just shot him!” according to the authorities.
The handgun was in its holster on the right side of Potter’s duty belt and his Taser was on the left side, authorities said.
The Taser is yellow with a black handle and is put in the “right pull position,” which means Potter should use his left hand to remove the Taser from its holster, authorities said.
Potter, who had worked for the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 26 years, resigned two days after Wright’s death.
“I submit my resignation from the Brooklyn Center Police Department with immediate effect,” Potter wrote.
“I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department and my fellow police officers that I resign immediately.
Asked why Potter was allowed to resign instead of being fired, Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot said, “We were going through our own processes to make sure we had all the documentation we needed to be able to do it.”
Tony Gruenig, who has worked in the department for 19 years, has been appointed to replace Gannon as chief of police.