Minnesota AG to prosecute case against Kim Potter, former officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright

Keith Ellison
(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's office is set to lead the prosecution of Kim Potter, the former police officer charged with fatally shooting Daunte Wright.

Ellison announced Friday his office is taking on the case at the request of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, with the Minnesota attorney general saying he is not doing so "lightly," Axios reports. This comes after Washington County Attorney Pete Orput returned the case to Freeman's office, according to The Associated Press.

"Daunte Wright's death was a tragedy," Ellison said. "He should not have died on the day that he did. He should not have died the way that he did."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter after fatally shooting Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop in April. The Brooklyn Center Police Department said Potter apparently intended to use her Taser but fired her gun instead, and video showed Potter saying, "Holy s---. I just shot him."

Wright's shooting sparked protests amid the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was ultimately convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. Ellison's office led the prosecution of Chauvin, which Axios notes resulted in a "rare conviction of a police officer."

"I promise the Wright family and all Minnesotans that I will handle this prosecution responsibly and consistent with the law, and that I will be guided by the values of accountability and transparency," Ellison said Friday. "No one, however, should expect this case will be easy to prosecute. History shows that this case, like all cases of officer-involved deaths by deadly force, will be difficult."

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.