WARNING: DISTRESSING VIDEO BELOW
Police Officer Charged with 2nd-Degree Manslaughter
(MN) – Everyone has seen the latest killing of a Black man by a Brooklyn Center police officer. 26-year veteran, Kim Potter, killed Daunte Wright when she shot him with her Glock instead of her Taser. The shooting occurred when Mr. Wright was pulled over for a traffic stop. Officers discovered that Mr. Wright had active misdemeanor warrants and went to take him into custody. Mr. Wright struggled with the officers, at which point Officer Potter approached, called “Taser” several times then shot and killed Mr. Wright.
Police Chief Claims it was an Accidental Discharge
The astounding display of incompetence by Officer Potter, that cost Mr. Wright his life, was followed by the police chief referring to the shooting as an “accidental discharge.” Use of force by police is what we are used to seeing. A police officer uses excessive force or resorts to police brutality and police chiefs try to downplay what happened.
That’s exactly Police Chief Tim Gannon did when he referred to the shooting as an accidental discharge. An accidental discharge (which is actually negligence) is when someone accidentally fires their weapon while handling it. There was nothing accidental about what Potter did. She had every intention of shooting the weapon in her hand. That she mixed up her gun with her Taser shows her level of incompetence and poor training, both of which are a stain on the Brooklyn Center Police Department.
Times are Changing
As bad as this situation is, I do think there is a bright side. Police protests have shown officials that the public has had enough. We are seeing the results of police protests every time we see a police officer get prosecuted or fired for some form of police misconduct. Derrick Chauvin is currently being tried for the murder of George Floyd. The officers who were with Chauvin have been charged also and will be facing their own trials. “Prosecutors said Potter’s “culpable negligence” caused Wright’s death.” Kim Potter has been charged with 2nd-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright. The police chief and the city manager were forced to resign.
We are seeing the arrest of officers more than we ever have before. There is still a long way to go and plenty of officers are still getting away with, literally, murder. But we are going in the right direction.