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SAINT PAUL, April 14 — A police officer who fatally shot a Black man during a scuffle in a Minneapolis suburb that followed a routine traffic stop could face criminal charges today, according to the county attorney in charge of the case.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput told Minnesota’s WCCO Radio and other media outlets that he could file charges against the former officer, Kim Potter, today for shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Orput, who could not be reached for comment, has not indicated the likely charge or charges, according to media.
Both Potter and Tim Gannon, chief of the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police department, resigned yesterday.
Potter’s lawyer, Earl Gray, declined to comment.
Wright was shot on Sunday after being pulled over for what police said was an expired car registration. Officers discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest, and an officer accidentally drew her pistol instead of her Taser during a struggle with Wright, who got back into his car, Gannon said on Monday.
The officer, who was later identified as Potter, can be heard on police video shouting, “Holy shit, I just shot him.”
The shooting has drawn attention to potential issues with the use of Tasers by police officers, with some experts saying it is clear that problems persist with training and the weapon’s design.
Wright was killed just miles from the Minneapolis courthouse where the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis policeman charged with murdering George Floyd last May, is taking place.
Floyd, 46, who died in handcuffs with his neck pinned to the street under Chauvin’s knee, became the face of national protests against racism and police brutality that swept the United States last summer.
Protesters assembled outside Brooklyn Center’s police headquarters for a third night yesterday. Some demonstrators lobbed bottles and other projectiles over a fence in front of the headquarters. Officers fired tear gas, nonlethal rounds and flash-bang rounds, to disperse the crowd. — Reuters
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