Kim Potter, the now-former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop Sunday, was charged with second-degree manslaughter Wednesday. For activists and community members who have been demanding justice for Wright since the day of the shooting—and are likely already on edge due to the Derek Chauvin trial over the death of George Floyd—the charge will easily fall short of true accountability even if she is found guilty.
In Minnesota, second-degree manslaughter applies when authorities allege a person causes someone’s death by “culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another.”
Someone convicted of this charge would face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
With the exception of “back the blue” enthusiasts who will at least pretend to believe that a 26-year police veteran mistook her service weapon for a taser, no one is going to be satisfied with Potter facing a maximum of a decade in prison and/or a low five-figure fine.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced Wednesday that Potter had been taken into custody around 11:30 a.m. and that she will be booked into Hennepin County Jail.
The BCA also noted that “This remains an active and ongoing investigation,” and that “The BCA has been and will continue to work with the Washington County Attorney’s Office as the case progresses.”
As The Root previously reported, Potter, along with Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, resigned from the force Tuesday amid outrage over the shooting, but police officials maintain that Wright’s death was an accident.
So we’re looking at another uphill battle with hopes that some semblance of justice will be the result. Of course, while we’re currently witnessing the convention of blue-on-Black gaslighting and victim-blaming that is the Chauvin trial, those of us who are tired of the extrajudicial executions of Black people at the hands of police are going to have a tough time finding the energy to sit through another trial that may or may not end in a guilty verdict.
The people are already exhausted, and if Wright’s story has taught us anything, it’s that all the protesting in the world doesn’t seem to deter cops from being excessive in the way they deal with Black suspects.