Former Minnesota police officer charged with killing Black motorist


Daunte Wright, 20

Emma Guenther, Staff Writer

Last Thursday was the first court appearance of Kim Potter, a white former police officer who killed a Black motorist at a traffic-stop after allegedly mistaking her gun for her taser. The death of Daunte Wright incited four consecutive days of protest, and Potter was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter. This would mean that Potter killed Wright in a reckless accident; however, protesters as well as the family and friends of Wright have rejected this. After all, a taser is usually a bright color or has neon accents to distinguish it from a pistol, not to mention a handgun weighs significantly more than a taser does. This is in addition to the trigger safety that is present on Glocks but not tasers. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to question how a trained law enforcement officer could fire a pistol and take a man’s life while under the impression that she was not shooting him, but tasing him.

Wright was stopped for an expired car registration and he ended up losing his life. He had a warrant for his failure to appear in court on previous charges, and therefore an officer began to arrest him. As Wright struggled, Potter shouted, “I’ll tase you!” twice, followed by “taser! Taser! Taser!” She then fired one shot from the handgun in her right hand. The criminal complaint noted that Potter holstered her handgun on the right side and her taser on the left, and she would have had to use her left hand to remove her taser.

Protests have taken place since Potter’s trial, as many believe that she should have been convicted of second-degree murder. Hundreds of people protested in front of the station, chanting “Say his name! Daunte Wright!” Police declared the protest an unlawful assembly and ordered people to disperse, before using occasional gas canisters. Some then sprayed a chemical on protesters who came near the fence and fired sporadic projectiles.