As the trial of Derek Chauvin was winding down, the cycle of grief and outrage began once more after Daunte Wright was shot and killed in Brooklyn Center by former Minnesota police officer Kim Porter last month. A judge ruled on Monday that Porter will stand trial after finding there was probable cause to charge the officer with second-degree murder.
According to Insider, Potter resigned from her job shortly before being charged with the shooting. She was arrested last month, but posted $100,000 bail and appeared in court virtually from her attorney’s office. Hennepin County District Court Judge Regina Chu gave her condolences to Wright’s family before the hearing began.
Wright, who was 20, was stopped by Porter and a fellow officer on April 11 over a traffic violation. After it was found he had a warrant out for his arrest, the officers attempted to arrest Wright. Body camera footage showed that he broke free of their restraint and attempted to re-enter his car when Porter pulled out her gun. She repeatedly yelled “Taser!” before firing her gun at Wright, killing him.
Police officials initially said that Porter believed she was firing her taser when she shot him. Apparently, 26 years of police experience doesn’t translate to knowing the difference between a taser and a gun. The initial handling of the shooting led to Porter and former Brooklyn Center Police chief Tim Gannon resigning, with the City Council voting to give the Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot “command authority” of the police force last month.
Potter’s attorney Earl Gray — who also represents Thomas Lane, one of the former Minneapolis officers charged in connection with George Floyd’s murder — told the court that he’s only received “limited” discovery so far. He did not provide evidence Monday contesting probable cause for the charges against Potter.
Gray also objected to audio and visual recording of the trial.
Under Minnesota law, second-degree manslaughter is defined as “culpable negligence” involving “an unreasonable risk” in which a person “consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another.” A jury doesn’t have to find that Potter intended to kill Wright, only that her disregard for safety resulted in his death.
Chu told the court that she would like Porter’s trial to begin by Dec. 6. If Porter is found guilty she could face up to 10 years in prison.